Last night, the European Commission received a notification from the Slovenian authorities informing about their intention to temporarily reintroduce controls at the border with Hungary, as of today for an initial period of 10 days.
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 serious threat to public policy or internal security.
The current situation in Slovenia, 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 Slovenia today, like those taken by Germany on 13 September and Austria on 16 September, are temporary in nature. The Extraordinary Council of Justice and Home Affairs on 14 September reconfirmed 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. After today’s vote in the European Parliament in support of the mandatory emergency relocation of 120,000 refugees in clear need of international protection, the Extraordinary Justice and Home Affairs Council on 22 September will be an important moment for coming to an agreement.
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.