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Germany rejects EU proposal to end border controls

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Staff Writer | May 5, 2017
The German government rejected the European Commission's demand to end border controls between the member states within six months.
Eu border
Immigrants   Safeguarding Europe
A return to the Schengen agreement would be welcome, spokesperson for the Ministry of Internal Affairs Johannes Dimroth said.

However, "one can really not reliably state" that abolishing checks at the German border in six months is a responsible move. Safeguarding Europe depends on securing its external borders, according to Dimroth.

Against the background of migration and security concerns in Europe, dispensing with the current border controls is "out of the question," Dimroth said.

The Schengen agreement is a treaty between the member states of the European Union to allow free travel across borders within the Union without checks and fixed crossing points.

The suspension of border controls is regarded as an essential part of the freedom of travel in Europe. The controls have been partially reinstated in the wake of the refugee crisis since 2015.

The European Commission requested of Germany, Austria and three other countries, to dispense with the systematic border checks within six months.

"The time has come to take the last steps to gradually return to a normal functioning Schengen Area," European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dimitris Avramopoulos said Tuesday in Brussels.

He also warned of concerns regarding the opening up of the borders, mainly the situation along the western Balkans Route and the application of the Dublin Regulation.

German politicians of the two largest parties CDU (Christian Democratic Union of Germany) and SPD (Social Democratic Party of Germany) support the government's decision to maintain the internal border controls for at least six months, based on security concerns brought about by migration and the refugee situation.

"We can only give up internal border controls when the EU's external borders are secured," Parliamentary State Secretary Guenther Krings (CDU) told German newspaper Rheinische Post.


 

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