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EU: Internal Border Controls Extended

  • VOA News

FILE - Migrants walk as they cross the border from Hungary to Nickelsdorf, Austria, September 25, 2015. Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway will be allowed to continue their controls for six months, the European Council decided with immediate effect Thursday.

FILE - Migrants walk as they cross the border from Hungary to Nickelsdorf, Austria, September 25, 2015. Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway will be allowed to continue their controls for six months, the European Council decided with immediate effect Thursday.

Border controls between some EU member states will be allowed to continue for six months as the bloc continues to struggle with a massive influx of refugees and asylum seekers.

Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, and Norway will be allowed to continue their controls for six months, the European Council decided with immediate effect Thursday.

The five countries will be required to consult with neighbors whose borders will be effected to ensure that controls are only implemented where "necessary and proportionate".

"Border controls should be targeted and limited in scope, frequency, location and time, to what is strictly necessary to respond to the serious threat and to safeguard public policy and internal security resulting from the secondary movements of irregular migrants," a statement released by the European Council said Thursday.

Germany reintroduced ID checks last year in an effort to cope with the influx of thousands of migrants. Legal avenues for keeping these controls in place were set to expire on Friday without this decision.

Europe's visa-free Schengen system, already under scrutiny as the numbers of migrants increase, has been further called into question following terror attacks in Paris and Brussels in the past year.

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