European Commission recommends prolonging internal border checks for 3 months

27 Oct 16

EUROPEAN UNION

IMPACT – MEDIUM

What is the change? The European Commission has proposed prolonging for three months temporary internal border controls in Austria, Denmark, Germany, Norway and Sweden. The proposal is expected to be adopted by the European Council.

What does the change mean? Travelers should continue to expect border controls and document checks when traveling in certain parts of Europe. Controls in the following locations would be extended under the Commission’s proposal:

  • Austria: The Austrian-Hungarian land border and the Austrian-Slovenian land border.
  • Germany: The German-Austrian land border.
  • Denmark: Danish ports with ferry connections to Germany and the Danish-German land border.
  • Sweden:Swedish harbors in the Police Region South and West and the Öresund Bridge, which connects Sweden and Denmark.
  • Norway: Norwegian ports with ferry connections to Denmark, Germany and Sweden.

Background: The Commission’s proposal follows a decision in May to permit internal border controls along the borders or check points listed above for six months. In a statement, the Commission said that while Europe has seen a “significant decrease in the number of arrivals of irregular migrants and asylum seekers” in recent months, “a significant number of irregular migrants” still remain in Greece and other Schengen Area countries affected by the movement of migrants out of Greece. The Commission, therefore, recommended that the border controls be extended for an additional three months, while directing countries that carry out border controls to submit monthly reports on the controls and their continued necessity.

BAL Analysis: While the flow of migrants to Europe has slowed, the EU is still grappling with the effects of the migrant crisis. The European Commission said that Europe is on the right path to return to a Schengen Area without border controls, but that the conditions that would permit “a normally functioning Schengen area are not yet fully fulfilled.” Controls on the borders and checkpoints listed above will be extended for three months. Travelers should anticipate the possibility of delays when traveling in affected areas.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group in the United Kingdom. For additional information, please contact uk@balglobal.com.

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