Norway demands revised border control rules in Schengen
Norway asks the EC to change the rules so that it is easier to keep the temporary border control internally in the Schengen area.
Norway, Denmark, Germany, Austria and France have now sent a joint proposal to the European Commission.
There the five countries ask for more flexible rules regarding internal border control in Schengen.
– This is an adaptation to the reality we live in. It’s not a legal reality, but the real world, says Minister for Immigration in Denmark, Inger Støjberg.
She believes that each country must be able to introduce border control when needed and keep it as long as needed.
Referring to the terrorist danger
The case was discussed parallel to the Ministerial Meeting on Justice and Immigration in Brussels on Thursday.
Norway was invited to the meeting and participated with two state secretaries.
Today, the regulations open for temporary border controls to be introduced if serious security threats against a country arise. France introduced such border control after the terror attacks in the autumn of 2015.
This time limit is not adapted to today’s situation, where there is a lasting terrorist threat, the five Schengen countries write in the proposal, which has now been sent to the EU Commission. NTB has been granted access to the draft text.
The five demand that each country must have the opportunity to introduce more long-term border control when the threat level requires it.
Hinders asylum seekers
Temporary border controls have also been introduced in Norway, Denmark, Sweden, Germany and Austria.
This came into place in the wake of the refugee crisis. The official justification was not danger of terrorism, but that Greece did not have full control over the external borders.
– There is no doubt that border control has had a major impact on reducing the number of asylum seekers to Denmark. In excess of 4,300 have been rejected on the Danish-German border since we introduced the border control, says Støjberg.
Today, however, the situation is less precarious. The EU Commission has therefore made it clear that it will further extensions will not be provisioned. The controls must therefore be terminated before November 11 this year.
It is expected that several countries will protest this and insist on retaining the border control, but now with danger of terrorism as reason.
Commissioner of Immigration in EU, Dimitris Avramopoulos, believes there are no valid reasons to continue.
– We will discuss it with the ministers. But I think the time has come to return to the norm in Schengen, he says.
The EU has repeatedly pointed out that border control at internal Schengen borders can only be carried out as a “last resort” and that the control must be targeted and as limited as possible.
The border control is politically inflamed because it hinders the free flow of people, goods and services across borders internally in the Schengen area.
The Norwegian control applies to ferries arriving from Denmark, Sweden and Germany.
The check is performed on a random basis, and very few people are denied entry.
Sweden has controls on the Øresund Bridge to Denmark and on ports in the south and east. The Swedes are not involved in the initiative by Norway and the four other countries, but are positive to that the EU Commission is reviewing the regulatory framework once more.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today