Germany set to tighten border checks ahead of Euro 2024

AFP/The Local
AFP/The Local - [email protected]
Germany set to tighten border checks ahead of Euro 2024
A federal police man stops a truck crossing the Polish border into Bademeusel, Brandenburg in October. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Frank Hammerschmidt

Germany said Wednesday it would probably prolong the checks on its eastern border it launched last autumn to curb migration, and extend the controls to all borders when it hosts the Euro 2024 football tournament.


"The illegal migration figures have indeed decreased, but we still register many asylum requests," German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told reporters in Prague.

"This is why I think we will have to extend the checks once again," she added.

Germany introduced random checks on its borders with Poland and the Czech Republic in late September. It has had fixed checks on its boundary with Austria since the 2015 migrant crisis.

READ ALSO: Germany strengthens border checks amid rise in migrant arrivals

The move led Germany's eastern neighbours to introduce identity controls on their borders with Slovakia to stop migrants coming in largely from Serbia via Hungary.

All those countries except Serbia are members of Europe's Schengen open-borders zone, where are permitted only in exceptional circumstances.

Their reintroduction must be notified to Brussels before they can be implemented.

"After six months, you always have to evaluate them and find out if they are still necessary. The European Commission then has to approve them again," Faeser said.

For the checks currently in place, the six-month evaluation period is due to expire at the end of March.


Faeser said Germany would most likely tighten border controls when it hosts the Euro 2024 football tournament in June and July.

"As a rule, host countries tend to protect themselves, so we will probably introduce checks on borders with all neighbours," she added.

Faeser added Germany would continue to fight "the terrible crime of smuggling" causing an influx of migrants, largely from Africa and Asia.

"Almost one in four refugees comes via smuggler organisations or smugglers. We have to combat smuggling, it's absolutely crucial. That's why we need the border checks."

READ ALSO: Euro 2024: Germany to sell cheap tickets for fans attending games


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