Slovakia’s controls at the common border with Hungary will be kept in place until January 22, the government of Bratislava has confirmed.
Such a measure has been introduced in order to halt irregular migration, which is among the main concerns of several EU countries that have introduced similar measures, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
The extension of border controls is again aimed at reducing the number of illegal migrants entering the country.Slovakia’s government
Citing migration pressure along the Balkan route, Slovakia notified the EU of the temporary reintroduction of border controls on October 5 this year, which were set to remain in place until October 14.
Intensified migration pressure along the Balkan route, a serious threat to the internal security and public order; internal border with Hungary”Slovakia
Mentioning the same reasons, up to this point, Slovakia has notified the European Commission regarding the extension of border controls four times.
Authorities in Bratislava extended border controls with Hungary from October 15 until November 3. Controls with Hungary were once again prolonged from November 4 until November 23 and then from November 24 until December 23 this year.
Based on the Schengen Borders Code (SBC), EU Member States are eligible to reintroduce border controls at the internal borders in the event of a serious threat to public or internal security.
However, such a measure must only be applied in exceptional situations and respect the principle of proportionality.
Border checks can be extended in a renewable period of up to 30 days; however, the total period should not surpass six months, as cited in Articles 25 and 26 of the codified SBC. EU Member countries are required to notify the Commission and other Member States at least four weeks in advance of implementing any extension.
Authorities in Europe are continuously dealing with an increased number of migrants.
Based on the figures provided by the European Union Border and Guard Agency, Frontex, in the first ten months of this year, a total of 331,600 people attempted to reach the EU’s external border in an irregular way, accounting for an 18 per cent increase compared to the same period last year’s statistics, and the highest increase for this period since 2015.
For a period from January until October this year, the Western Balkan route was the second most active route, accounting for more than 97,300 detections.
Based on the data provided by the government, the number of migrants reaching Slovakia has increased significantly to nearly 40,000 this year. The majority of those reaching Slovakia came from the Middle East, North Africa, as well as Afghanistan.
Besides, according to the Interior Ministry, there was registered a significant decrease in the number of migrants in detention, falling from a total of 6,809 in October to only 34 in November.
Source : schengenvisainfo.com