Following a decision by the Czech Republic to extend border controls with Slovakia, the Austrian authorities have also made a similar move, prolonging border checks with Slovakia for 15 more days.
The decision was announced on Friday, October 28, by the Austrian Ministry of the Interior.
“Austria will extend border controls with Slovakia from October 28, 2022. With this step, Austria follows the neighbouring Czech Republic, which announced on October 27, 2022, that it would also extend its identity controls at the border with Slovakia – initially by 15 days and then by a further 30 days,” the Ministry has revealed in a press release.
Commenting on the decision, the Minister of the Interior, Gerhard Karner, said that controls at the borders with Slovakia remain essential to prevent illegal migration through these borders.
“The border controls to Slovakia are still necessary because otherwise, the criminal traffickers will react immediately and change their routes. We will not allow this dirty business and will continue to fight the trafficking mafia consistently,” the Minister has said.
Austria introduced border controls with Slovakia on September 29, for a few days at first, after the Czech Republic had done the same a day before, in a bid to prevent migrants from transiting its territory from Slovakia in their bid to reach countries like Germany.
The decision of Austria to introduce border controls with Slovakia was mainly taken due to fears that migrants and people smugglers who used Czechia as a transiting zone to Germany would then start using Austria as such.
Now that the Czech Republic has extended border checks with Slovakia until December 12, pushed by the same concerns, Austria has followed. The Ministry also reveals that since controls were first introduced, 12 smugglers have already been arrested.
The reintroduction of border controls within the Schengen Zone – the main feature of which is having no borders between the Member States – is regulated by the Schengen Border Code (SBC), which says that such borders should be introduced only as a measure of last resort.
However, there are some countries part of this zone that have been extending internal border checks for years now.
This week, SchengenVisaInfo.com reported that Denmark has now entered in its eighth year of extending controls at land borders with Germany, under the pretences that Russia’s war in Ukraine had increased the risk of people that “could pose a threat to Denmark’s security” travelling to this country and other Schengen members.
Source: Schengen Visa Info