Austria has decided to extend the internal border controls with Czechia for another 20 days, until December 2023.
According to the Ministry of Interior of Austria, the decision to extend the border controls has been taken in an attempt to combat people smuggling as well as terrorism.
As of November 17, 2023, the controls were extended for a further 20 days. The border controls are not only necessary to combat the smuggling mafia, they are also a measure in the fight against terrorism.
Commenting on the measures, the Minister of Interior of Austria, Gerhard Karner, said that border controls are important in the fight against human smuggling.
Minister Karner further stressed that the internal border controls also help the country combat terrorism.
Border controls are an important measure against the smuggling mafia. In the current situation, the controls are also an important measure to combat terrorism.
Austria currently conducts border controls with Slovakia, Hungary, and Slovenia in addition to the extended measures with Czechia.
Intensive controls near the borders with Italy, Germany, Switzerland, and Lichtenstein are also in place.
While Austria decided to extend the border controls with Czechia for a period of only 20 days, the case is not the same for the border controls with Slovenia.
Just last week, Austria said that it will extend the border controls with Slovenia for another six months, until May 2024.
The reasons for the extension of the measure were the same, with the Austrian Ministry of Interior citing smuggling and terrorism concerns.
The Ministry further noted that the measures have proven to be effective so far, with a 50 per cent reduction in apprehensions in 2023.
In addition to the above-mentioned, Austria has also recently extended the measures with Slovakia.
With the aim of ending human trafficking and irregular migration to the country, Austria decided to keep its border controls with Slovakia in place until November 2023, with the authorities saying that the measures might be further prolonged if needed.
Austria is not the only country keeping in place internal border controls. In addition to Austria, ten other Schengen member states, including France, Germany, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Italy, Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Slovenia, and Poland, implement internal border controls.
Some of these countries have just recently introduced controls while some others have extended them a couple of times now.