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Austria to Extend Internal Border Controls with Slovenia and Hungary for Another 6 Months


Austria plans to extend the internal border controls with Slovenia and Hungary for another six months from mid-May when the current measure ends.

Announcing the news during a visit to the Spielfeld border with Slovenia, the Austrian Minister of Interior, Gerhard Karner, suggested that the measure is needed in order to prevent irregular migration and human trafficking, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

Austria initially introduced internal border controls with Slovenia and Hungary in 20215, and since then, the country has been extending the restrictions on and off.

The last extension took place in November 2023 when Austria decided to keep the border controls with the two countries effective until May 2024.

Similar to back then, Minister Karner said that the country’s main aim is to fight illegal human trafficking and irregular migration.

He further emphasised that the internal border controls have proven to be effective so far, with human traffickers no longer choosing Austria as their route or main destination.

The latest measures and the increased pressure on the borders are having an effect, and human traffickers are already avoiding Austria.

Austrian Minister of Interior Gerhard Karner

Slovenia Against the Extension of Border Controls

While Austria has said that internal border controls are necessary to prevent irregular migration and human trafficking, Slovenia has opposed the extension of the measure.

Slovenia has said that the internal border controls that Austria has been keeping in place for so long are not in line with the EU law.

Since the internal border controls oftentimes cause delays even for EU nationals, Slovenia has called on Austria to put an end to this measure.

However, the latter has not responded to this call, deciding to keep internal border controls in place until mid-November.

Austria Currently Also Has Border Controls in Place With Czechia

In addition to the two countries above, Austria currently also has internal border controls in place with Czechia.

The border measure with Czechia was last extended in February of this year and will remain effective until April 16, 2024.

When the measure was extended, Minister Karner noted that given the international security situation, controls are necessary to take action against extremists.

Commenting on the measures, the Minister of Interior of Czechia, Vít Rakušan, stressed that the controls that Austria keeps on maintaining have a minimal impact on cross-border movement and present little to no complications for Czech citizens crossing the border.

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