Germany to restore control at borders with Poland, Czechia and Switzerland

After much hesitation, the German federal government is preparing to reintroduce stationary controls at additional border sections with several European countries.

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser announced the decision on October 16, Welt reported. She had notified the European Commission of the introduction of temporary internal border controls on the land borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland.

The decision “is initially valid for ten days, starting October 16 2023, and may be extended for a total period of up to two months”. At the same time, the control on the land border with Austria will be extended for six months again – it has been in place since 2015.

The ministry said that the Federal Police can use the same resources on the borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland that it has long operated on the border with Austria.

The number of covert searches across the border area has significantly increased in the last few weeks. Joint patrols have been conducted with the border police of Poland and the Czech Republic on their territory. A joint action plan with Switzerland is already in place. These measures should be continued in close coordination with neighbouring countries.

“The business of smugglers is becoming more and more brutal and unscrupulous. The horrific deaths of seven people smuggled across the German-Austrian border on Friday night shocked us deeply”.

German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser

At the same time, Germany needs to “effectively curb illegal migration to ease the burden on our municipalities,” the minister added.

According to the Ministry of the Interior, as of early October, the Federal Police detected about 98,000 unauthorised entries into Germany in 2023, compared to 92,000 in 2022.

Earlier, German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier called for restrictions on illegal migration to the country.

For his part, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz said that Berlin seeks to curb illegal migration through stricter border controls.

Earlier, the interior ministers of Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic agreed to establish a joint working group under the auspices of Europol to combat “inhuman smuggling effectively”.

So far, there have been only stationary controls at the border between Bavaria and Austria. They were decided in 2015 by the responsible Federal Ministry of the Interior and notified to the EU Commission.

Since then, they have been extended again every six months. Faeser has continued this practice since she took over from her predecessor, Horst Seehofer (CSU).

She has argued several times in recent months that she considers an expansion of stationary controls ineffective. Since she nevertheless regularly extended the controls at the border with Austria.

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