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Five Schengen states want permission to extend internal border controls for up to two years at a time
2.10.17
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On 27 September the European Commission proposed new rules for internal border controls in the Schengen area that would allow states facing "a serious threat to public policy or internal security" to reintroduce border controls for double the period currently allowed - one year instead of six months, and up to two years in certain cases.

A "non-paper" drafted by Austria, Denmark, France, Germany and Norway - all of whom have introduced and repeatedly prolonged internal border controls in recent years - and dated 5 September, suggests that those five states will seek to extend that period even further during negotiations on the proposal:

"We call on the Commission to submit draft legislation aimed at amending the provisions of Article 25 of the SBC to allow Member States to reintroduce internal border controls for periods longer than currently provided for...

In its present wording, paragraph 4 of Article 25 limits to six months the duration of reintroduction of controls at internal borders due to a serious threat to public policy or internal security.

This limitation does not match the needs in the context of a long-term terrorist threat. There is a need to allow a Member State to reintroduce controls at its internal borders for a period exceeding six months..."

For the five Schengen states that drafted the non-paper, the preferred period is up to two years, with the possibility of a further two years (as also proposed by the Commission) in exceptional cases.

See: Non-paper from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany and Norway: Proposal for a targeted amendment to Article 25
of the Schengen Borders Code concerning the re-establishment of internal border controls
(5 September 2017, pdf)

And the Commission's proposal included here: Commission's latest proposals: three year internal border controls, swifter returns, ensure relocations (Statewatch News Online, 27 September 2017)

The table below shows the Commission's proposal for Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code and that of the five Schengen states, emphasis has been added for comparison purposes.

 Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code: Commission proposal Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code: Proposal from Austria, Denmark, France, Germany and Norway
1. Where, in the area without internal border control, there is a serious threat to public policy or internal security in a Member State, that Member State may exceptionally reintroduce border control at all or specific parts of its internal borders for a limited period of up to 30 days, or for the foreseeable duration of the serious threat if its duration exceeds 30 days, but not exceeding six months. The scope and duration of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders shall not exceed what is strictly necessary to respond to the serious threat. 1. Where, in the area without internal border control, there is a serious threat to public policy or internal security in aMember State, that Member Statemay exceptionally reintroduce border control at all or specific parts of its internal borders for a limited period of up to 3 months or for the foreseeable duration of the serious threat if its duration exceeds 3 months. The scope and duration of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders shall not exceed what is strictly necessary to respond to the serious threat.
2. Border control at internal borders shall only be reintroduced as a last resort, and in accordance with Articles 27, 27a, 28 and 29. The criteria referred to, respectively, in Articles 26 and 30 shall be taken into account in each case where a decision on reintroduction of border control at internal borders is considered pursuant, respectively, to Article 27, 27a, 28 or 29. 2. Border control at internal borders shall only be reintroduced as a last resort, and in accordance with Articles 27, 28 and 29. The criteria referred to, respectively, in Articles 26 and 30 shall be taken into account in each case where a decision on the reintroduction of border control at internal borders is considered pursuant, respectively, to Article 27, 28 or 29.
 3. If the serious threat to public policy or internal security in the Member State concerned persists beyond the period provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article, that Member State may prolong border control at its internal borders, taking account of the criteria referred to in Article 26 and in accordance with Article 27, on the same grounds as those referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article and, taking into account any new elements, for renewable periods corresponding to the foreseeable duration of the serious threat and not exceeding six months. 3. If the serious threat to public policy or internal security in the Member State concerned persists beyond the period provided for in paragraph 1 of this Article, that Member Statemay prolong border control at its internal borders, taking account of the criteria referred to in Article 26 and in accordance with Article 27, on the same grounds as those referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article and, taking into account any new elements, for renewable periods of up to 3 months.

4. The total period during which border control is reintroduced at internal borders, including any prolongation provided for under paragraph 3 of this Article, shall not exceed one year.

In the exceptional cases referred to in Article 27a, the total period may be further extended by a maximum length of two years in accordance with that Article.

Where there are exceptional circumstances as referred to in Article 29, the total period may be extended by a maximum length of two years, in accordance with paragraph 1 of that Article.

4. The total period during which border control is reintroduced at internal borders, including any prolongation provided for under paragraph 3 of this Article, shall not exceed two years. Where there are exceptional circumstances as referred to in Article 29, that total period may be extended to a maximum length of a further period of two years, in accordance with paragraph 1 of that Article.

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