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Seehofer Calls for Tighter Border Controls, Suspension of Schengen Agreement

Seehofer Calls for Tighter Border Controls, Suspension of Schengen AgreementSeehofer Calls for Tighter Border Controls, Suspension of Schengen Agreement

Germany should consider stepping up its border controls and the suspension of the Schengen Agreement, German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said on Sunday.

“Not that many border points in Germany are permanently occupied,” Seehofer told German weekly newspaper Die Welt am Sonntag, adding, “We will now discuss whether that needs to change,” DW reported.

Seehofer also appealed for the suspension of the Schengen Agreement, which allows free movement within the EU bloc.

“Internal border checks [between EU member states] must be in place so long as the EU fails to effectively control the external border,” he said, adding, “I don’t see it being able to do this in the near future.”

The reintroduction of border controls is a prerogative of EU member states. Under EU rules they must remain an exception and respect the principle of proportionality.

Germany’s temporarily reintroduced border controls continue until May 12 and have been imposed on the land border with Austria and on flight connections from Greece because of the “security situation in Europe and threats resulting from the continuous secondary movements,” according to the European Commission.

Seehofer’s comments follow EU demands in February that Germany and four other Schengen members— Austria, Denmark, Sweden and Norway—lift their border controls when the current agreed terms run out in May.

Germany was the first EU country to reintroduce internal controls in September 2015. Authorities opened checkpoints along the border with Austria through which tens of thousands of refugees from the Middle East and North Africa were entering Germany.

 

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