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European Commission - Statement

European Commission Statement following the temporary reintroduction of border controls by Austria, particularly at the Hungarian-Austrian border

Brussels, 15 September 2015

European Commission Statement following the temporary reintroduction of border controls by Austria, particularly at the Hungarian-Austrian border

The European Commission has received a notification from the Austrian authorities informing about their intention to temporarily reintroduce controls, as of 16 September, at the borders with other EU-Member States, particularly at the Austrian border with Hungary but also at the borders with Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia.

The temporary reintroduction of border controls between Member States is an exceptional possibility explicitly foreseen in and regulated by the Schengen Borders Code, in case of a crisis situation.

The current situation in Austria, prima facie, appears to be a situation covered by the rules.

The EU institutions have the task to ensure the proportionality of the exceptional measures concerned. The Commission will closely monitor the situation and keep the European Parliament and the Council fully informed, as foreseen in the Schengen Borders Code. The objectives of our efforts must be to help ensure that we can go back to the normal Schengen system of open borders between Schengen Member States as soon as feasible.

The measures taken by Austria today, like those taken by Germany on 13 September, are provisional in nature. At the Extraordinary Council of Interior Ministers yesterday, Member States stressed the need to fully apply the EU asylum and Schengen rules.

The situation serves to further underscore the pressing need to agree on and quickly implement the measures proposed by the European Commission in order to manage the refugee crisis.

As President Juncker said in his State of the Union speech: The free movement of people under Schengen is a unique symbol of European integration. However, the other side of the coin is a better joint management of our external borders and more solidarity in coping with the refugee crisis.

We need swift progress on the Commission's proposals now.

STATEMENT/15/5648

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