Germany temporarily resumes border controls

Sep 15, 2015

On September 13, German Interior Minister de Maizière announced the temporary resumption of border controls at the internal Schengen borders. Travellers with a valid Schengen visa will be allowed to travel freely through Schengen countries with possible passport controls at certain borders.

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"At this moment, Germany is temporarily resuming border controls at the Schengen internal borders. The controls will initially be concentrated on the German-Austrian border.

This action is intended to contain the current influx into Germany and resume orderly procedures for entering the country. This is necessary for security reasons and is also required by the Schengen Borders Code. Germany will continue to abide by the applicable European and national rules for the protection of refugees,” de Maizière said.

In addition to measures to assist those refugees within its borders, Germany believes in stemming the flow of refugees. In this regard, it is helping to combat the causes of flight in countries in the Middle East and Africa as well as in Afghanistan, and supports humanitarian assistance measures for refugees. Stabilising failing states and curbing violence and civil war must go hand in hand with concentrated efforts to achieve economic development and create genuine economic and social prospects – especially for young people in the countries of origin. All of the international community’s efforts, above all those of the European Union and the United Nations, must be focused on this aim.

Interior Minister de Maizière concluded:

“According to the applicable European law, Germany is not responsible for the large majority of those seeking protection. The Dublin procedure and the Eurodac regulations continue to apply, and I call on all European member states to comply with them. This means that the responsible member state must not only register asylum seekers, but must also process their applications.

And asylum seekers must also accept the fact that they cannot choose which EU member state will grant them protection. The same will apply when a European system for distributing refugees goes into effect.

This action has become necessary. Over the past weeks, there has been a great willingness in Germany to help. We must not wear out this good will.

Our action is thus also intended to send a signal to Europe: Germany is meeting its humanitarian obligations. However, the burdens associated with the large number of refugees must be shared within Europe in a spirit of solidarity.

Introducing temporary border controls will not solve every problem. It may also interfere with passenger travel at the borders, including train travel. So I would like to ask for your understanding. We simply need a certain amount of order at our borders.

It is still crucial to provide assistance in the crisis region itself, to prevent even more people from leaving the refugee camps there.

And the European plan to set up waiting areas in Greece, Italy and, if necessary, also Hungary must be carried out as soon as possible. This action was agreed on by the governing coalition and discussed with the interior ministers of the federal states. Our Austrian partners have been informed. I have also personally informed the opposition parties."

copyright GIC Africa

Germany temporarily resumes border controls