The Czech government will extend current border controls with Slovakia due to “unprecedented” irregular immigration and wants the European Commission to devise a solution as the problem concerns multiple EU countries.
“The European Commission must pay attention to the situation. I have called on EU Commissioner Ylva Johansson to make a trip to the Western Balkans. If we fail to reduce the flow of migrants, we will still be dealing with partial problems instead of causes in Schengen,” said Czech Interior Minister Vít Rakušan after his Monday meeting with his Slovak, Austrian and Hungarian counterparts in Bratislava.
At the extraordinary meeting, the interior ministers agreed that the aim is not to take measures inside Schengen but on its external border. In addition to protecting the external border, action against organized smugglers and pressure on third countries to carry out readmissions should follow.
Czech Interior Minister confirmed that it is almost certain that Czechia will extend the border controls with Slovakia, which the government introduced last week for 10 days in connection with the influx of refugees.
Migration is a Europe-wide problem that cannot be solved only between individual states, Rakušan emphasised, adding that he expects help from Serbia, too.
The irregular immigrants are mostly Syrians from Turkey coming to Central Europe.
One of the refugee routes runs across the Serbian-Hungarian border, which is the external border of Schengen. The refugees then head to Germany via Hungary, Slovakia, and the Czech Republic. “What we are experiencing is unprecedented. The year-on-year increase in migration in the Czech Republic is 1200 percent. This is a situation to which we as the Czech Republic have had to respond,” Rakušan said.
According to Slovak Interior Minister Roman Mikulec, the European Commission should negotiate more intensively with the Western Balkan countries on migration. “We need to be able to return migrants to the countries they came from effectively,” Mikulec added.