As a result of the increasing number of refugees from Ukraine, the Swedish government has deemed it necessary to reinstate identity checks at the border to enter its territory through a new temporary law.
The proposal was based on EU regulations for introducing internal border controls in cases of serious danger to public order or internal security. If approved, the temporary law would allow the government to carry out identity checks for bus, train or passenger ship travel to Sweden from abroad for the purpose of law enforcement and national security, TheSchengen.com reports.
In a press release issued on March 15, the Minister of Infrastructure, Thomas Eneroth, said that the government must be prepared with the necessary means to receive people who come to Sweden on an ongoing basis.
“The government assesses that the situation may become so serious that immediate measures may be necessary to maintain law and order and protect national security,” the press release read.
According to the Swedish government, the law is proposed to be in effect for three years from its entry into force. The same will enable the government to adopt guidelines on identity verification for a maximum of six months.
In 2015, Sweden adopted the same law in order to carry out identity checks at internal borders during the refugee crisis. However, the law was temporary and is no longer in effect.
That is why the Ministry of Infrastructure will propose a new temporary law with relevant provisions.
“The government recognizes that reintroducing identity checks affects both the traveler and the passengers. Therefore, these checks should not be used too much or for longer than necessary.”
In order to provide the help they need, the European Union has decided to activate the Temporary Protection Directive which enables Ukrainian refugees to obtain temporary protection in EU countries, including here in Sweden.
In response to the current situation, the Temporary Protection Directive provides immediate protection and rights, reduces pressure on national asylum systems and increases solidarity and responsibilities-sharing.
Data show that since the Russian invasion of Ukraine, more than three million people have fled the war zone.
According to the Swedish Migration Agency, from February 24 to March 10, the number of Ukrainian citizens who applied for protection reached nearly 5,290. While on March 14, the agency recorded about 1,049 people coming from Ukraine.
The Swedish Migration Agency also estimated that 27,000 people would come to Sweden in March and June, while the higher figure puts that number at 212,000.