Swedish authorities have announced that internal border controls will remain in place until May 11, 2022.
According to the Swedish government’s press release, the decision to extend border controls was determined due to public policy and internal security concerns, TheSchengen.com reports.
“The Swedish Security Service has decided not to change the assessment that the terrorist threat level remains high, and we are assessing that Sweden should also maintain internal border controls. Border control at internal borders can help detect internal border controls,” said Minister for Internal Affairs Mikael Damberg. potential perpetrators who intend to harm Sweden and prevent them from committing serious crimes.”
The same also indicated that there were still deficiencies in the control of the external borders of the Schengen area.
Previously, Sweden expanded its border controls in May, which were due to expire on November 11. The Swedish government’s main concerns remain coronavirus infection, terrorist attacks and secondary movement.
Other countries in the Schengen area, such as Denmark, Norway, Germany and Austria, are expected to announce a similar decision, all of whom have seen concerns about the issue and introduced an extension of internal borders in May.
Previously, in a plenary session of the European Parliament, MEPs proposed ending border controls imposed by countries with 505 votes in favor, 143 against and 54 abstentions.
“Indicating that some internal border controls have been in place since 2015, MEPs say that such checks no longer meet the criteria of proportionality and necessity and are therefore illegal. The European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs said in a press release, when necessary, the Commission should initiate infringement proceedings.
The move was criticized at a committee meeting where the latter urged the European Commission to offer a solution in order to reform the administration of the Schengen area, especially in connection with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
>> Travel to Sweden: current rules and restrictions imposed due to COVID-19
Although the reintroduction of travel border controls should be the last alternative implemented by EU member states, the Schengen Borders Act (SBS) allows member states to reintroduce the measure in an effort to reduce public policy threats and other security concerns.
Moreover, the European Union previously indicated that border controls could be prolonged for periods of up to 30 days but no longer than six months.
On the other hand, the MEP, Fagon, said that this decision violates human rights and that Schengen is no longer fit for purpose, and also urged the implementation of meaningful reform.