granica, border.jpg
Photograph: Photo by Keith Laverack, used under CC BY-ND

EU ministers of the interior will hold an informal meeting in Amsterdam on Monday to discuss, among other things, the possibility of prolonging temporary border checks on the internal borders of the Schengen area of passport-free travel.

So far six EU countries have introduced temporary border checks due to the pressure of the migrant influx into the EU. Border checks within the Schengen area may be temporarily introduced in the case of security threats and extraordinary situations and may remain in force for up to three months, with the possibility of being extended. However, in all such cases of unilateral action, members of the Schengen area must report this to the European Commission and to other member-countries and state the reasons for the introduction of border checks.

Germany wants to extend border checks to up to two years and in order to do so, it needs to prove that there are permanent shortcomings on the external borders of the Schengen area.

That possibility exists and the Commission is prepared to use that mechanism if necessary, but it has not been activated yet because we are currently not in that situation, EC spokeswoman Narasha Bertaud said, adding that the ministerial meeting on Monday would focus on what should be done when the deadline for the temporary suspension of the Schengen area expires.

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