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Schengen: Greece and Slovenia unhappy with continuation of internal border controls
12 May 2016
The Council of the EU has today (12 May 2016) adopted a decision that permits the continuation of the internal border controls adopted by Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway. Greece and Slovenia have submitted statements disagreeing with the decision.
"Starting from the date of the adoption, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway should maintain proportionate temporary border controls for a maximum period of six months at the following internal borders:
Austria at the Austrian-Hungarian land border and Austrian-Slovenian land border;
Germany at the German-Austrian land border;
Denmark in the Danish ports with ferry connections to Germany and at the Danish-German land border;
Sweden in the Swedish harbours in the Police Region South and West and at the Öresund bridge;
Norway in the Norwegian ports with ferry connections to Denmark, Germany and Sweden."
See: Press release: Council adopts recommendation for continuation of internal border controls
Both Greece and Slovenia have submitted statements expressing their displeasure with the decision.
The Greek government said:
"Greece regrets that the adoption of the Commission’s proposal for Council Implementing Decision setting out a recommendation for temporary internal border control in exceptional circumstances putting the overall functioning of the Schengen area at risk, is based on the assumption that measures taken by Greece in the last three months have not been adequate to mitigate the “serious threat” identified at the external borders i.e. at the land and sea borders with Turkey and that the conditions for applying Article 29 of the Schengen Borders Code are met.
Greece, as stated in its Final Report of 29 April 2016, in close cooperation with the European Commission, European Agencies and Member States has managed to deliver within less that three months forty three (43) completed actions and to provide a realistic timeframe for the other seven (7) continued actions in order to remedy the deficiencies identified.
Greece, recalling its statement of 10.02.2016 reiterates its position, that the findings of the unannounced evaluation visit carried out from 10-13.11.2015 do not constitute “serious deficiencies” and show no evidence that “Greece is seriously neglecting its obligations”.
In the light of the above, Greece cannot agree to the proposal for a Council Implementing Decision."
The statement from the Slovenian government said:
"The Republic of Slovenia does not support the Commission’s proposal for the extension of the border control on the internal land border between Slovenia and Austria.
European Commission justifies the permission to maintain proportionate temporary border controls with the need to adequately address the serious threat to public policy and internal security related to the secondary movements of irregular migrants.
Since there are currently no objective reasons that any such threat arises from Slovenia, the Republic of Slovenia considers this measure as contrary to the principle of proportionality."
See: Draft Council Implementing Decision setting out a Recommendation for temporary internal border control in exceptional circumstances putting the overall functioning of the Schengen area at risk
And the final text: Council Implementing Decision setting out a Recommendation for temporary internal border control in exceptional circumstances putting the overall functioning of the Schengen area at risk