Austria extends border checks for another six months

European Commission confirms it received notification

11 October, 16:20

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, OCTOBER 11 - The European Commission confirmed Thursday it received notification that Austria intends to continue temporary checks at its internal borders with Slovenia and Hungary until May 2019, based on Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code, said Natasha Bertaud, EC spokesperson for migration. "Brussels will now evaluate the notification and will continue to monitor the implementation of the checks," she said.

    "Under Article 25 of the Code, it is possible for member states to notify of their intention to implement temporary checks at internal borders," Bertaud said.

    "As EC President Jean-Claude Juncker said, the Commission is not in favor of this situation continuing; he feels it is a step backwards for Europe. Brussels will continue to work with the member states involved, and in particular, to encourage substituting these checks at the borders with police patrols in the border areas. It's a recommendation that we made in October and we are continuing to work with the countries," she said.

    "The checks always have to be justified, and when we receive the notifications we don't automatically approve them," she said.

    "We evaluate the need and proportionality, and we don't do it only when we receive a notification, but continuously. Up until now we haven't published any negative opinions, but it is our prerogative to be able to do so," she said.

    Bertaud said that in order to return to a correct functioning of Schengen, there are many things that must be taken into consideration, including "the parallel work on strengthening external borders, which can permit free internal circulation" as well as the EC's proposal to reform the Schengen Code, "which is still on the table, which looks at the possibility of making continual checks and establishes a mechanism of European checks for terrorism, which is already established for migration," she said.(ANSAmed).

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