Austria and Slovenia prolong border controls

Border controls reintroduced in central Europe in response to the refugee crisis are set to continue until at least the middle of October. Austria has announced its intention to "continue to temporarily position adequate police forces at the border crossings initially with Hungary and Slovenia," and "if necessary... with other neighbouring states." Slovenia is also prolonging controls on its border with Hungary.

The Austrian controls will continue until Friday 16 October (unless they are prolonged futher), while a letter from Slovenia to the Council of the European Union appears to indicate that controls at the border with Hungary will continue until Saturday 17 October. They too can be prolonged.

The Austrian letter to the Council provides some details about the "security situation" in the country:

"Due to the enormous migration flows to and across Austria, the security situation has continued to deteriorate dramatically in recent days. Only last weekend, in the time period from 18 to 21 September (15:00 hours) about 33.000 persons have illegally entered Austria. In order to cope with such influx, 17,700 individual accommodations were created in Austria in the last few days. This is a major challenge not only for the police force and the Austrian federal army which was called for support, but also for rescue workers and all NGO personnel participating in providing assistance to refugees, which can only be managed by controlling the influx of these people in an orderly manner, and by police force and army using existing transportation means to distribute refugees to available accommodations. It is indispensable for this purpose, that the persons can be registered at the very border, and that they can be given medical care and initial food provisions.


"In view of the massive influx of third country nationals, such measure continues to be necessary for maintaining law and order, safeguarding internal security and avoiding continuous overstressing of police force, rescue services and public infrastructure, and for allowing the organs of the Austrian federal police force to perform their tasks at internal borders."

The Slovenian letter expresses "hope that during this period the measures which are being adopted by the Member States and the European Commission to manage migratory pressures across the Western Balkan countries will begin to take effect."


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