After the extension of the internal border checks with Austria for another six months, the German Interior Ministry has decided to step up the number of random border check by police, in a bid to fight and discourage the movement of migrants within the EU, also known as “secondary migration.”
The move was announced by the Interior Ministry of Germany, which said in a tweet that it has actually been initiated by the Interior Minister Horst Seehofer.
“In order to better combat secondary migration in Europe, Federal Interior Minister Seehofer, following the reorganization of the border controls at the border with Austria, has instructed the nationwide intensification of delivery,” the tweet said.
It also quotes Minister Seehofer, who said he instructed that the federal police intensify border checks at all other German borders.
“Safety starts at the border. In addition to the renewed arrangement of border controls to Austria, I have instructed that the Federal Police intensify border checks on all other German internal borders. We have an eye on all the borders of our country,” Seehofer said.
Seehofer’s decision was unwelcomed by many, including Irene Mihalic, Green party spokesperson for domestic affairs, who believes it is a “dangerous anti-European signal.”
“The interior minister needs to explain how he plans to guarantee a constant police presence at train stations without having overtime hours for the officers continue to grow,” she said.
Only last week, Minister Seehofer ordered the extension of internal border checks with Austria set to expire on November 11th, for another six months, just as he warned earlier in August when he said he would “do everything possible to push for smart controls at the borders.”
This is the tenth time that the German authorities have extended land border checks with Austria, due to the influx of illegal migrants. Since 2015, Germany has introduced and then continuously extended these border checks mainly due to the big influx of persons seeking international protection and continuous secondary movements.
Seehofer is taking such moves at a time when the EU is trying to update the rules on border introduction, due to the internal border checks going on inside the EU since 2015.
Last week the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE) agreed to start talks with the ministers of the European Union, on the revision of time limits and conditions for the introduction of temporary internal border checks within the Schengen Area.
The proposed amendments, among others, shortens the initial period for border checks for foreseeable events to two months, instead of six, as it is now. In addition, it asserts that internal border reintroduction should be decided as a measure of last resort.