Vienna plans to extend checks at certain borders. The Bavarian (Germany) government also has such a plan. Meanwhile, Brussels calls on EU countries to stop border controls in the Schengen area.
Austria intends to keep controls at the borders with Hungary and Slovenia at least until November. Border crossing controls have been applied in Austrian for three and a half years now, extending them every six months. If the country had not decided to continue controls, they would expire on 11th May. This will not happen, however, due to the „hidden threat of terrorism”. Herbert Kickl, Minister of Internal Affairs in Austria writes about this threat in his letter to the European Commission informing it about the prolongation of control for another six months.
Germany has also been conducting border controls since autumn, 2015. These checks only apply to border crossings with Austria. Joachim Hermann, Bavarian Minister of the Interior, called on the German federal government to extend border controls between Germany and Austria. Otherwise, the controls will end on 12th May. According to the head of the Bavarian Ministry of Home Affairs, „border controls are still necessary because there is still insufficient protection of the EU’s external borders.”
Brussels wants to reduce control
According to Dimitris Avramapoulos, EU Commissioner for Migration, border controls do not guarantee security. He calls on Germany and four other countries belonging to the Schengen zone to cease controlling borders as soon as possible.
If Schengen ceases to exist, Europe will die. „The Schengen area must return to its normal operation,” said Avramapoulos. Currently, border controls are applied not only in Germany and Austria but also in Denmark, Norway and France.