Germany wants to extend border control in Schengen over terrorist threat – report

Germany wants to extend border control in Schengen over terrorist threat – report
The German government wants to extend border control in the Schengen zone because it has had a tip-off about potential terrorists entering the country disguised as refugees, Germany's Der Spiegel magazine said.

The report is based on the minutes of an EU ambassadors’ internal meeting in Brussels obtained by the outlet. In particular, the document mentions a "filter function of the external borders," which it says is not working.

The EU rules generally allow free movement in the Schengen area. However, in the wake of the refugee crisis, some member states re-introduced border checks, asking for travelers’ passports and searching some of the vehicles which have been passing through.

Previously, the German Minister of the Interior, Thomas de Maiziere, declared that the controls would only be “temporary,” but the checks have already been extended a few times in the country, with the latest running until mid-February 2017.

Germany's suggestion that term be extended further caused concern among members of the EU Commission. According to the body, Germany will have to provide “detailed” information about terrorist threats as a reason for the extension of border controls, Spiegel reported.

Not everyone in the German Parliament supports the extension either. Ulla Jelpke, spokesperson for the Left Party (Die Linke) in the Bundestag, said, "We have to fight for an open, just Europe."

“A return to national borders is the wrong way," the lawmaker stressed.

The German proposal comes a month after the EU agreed to continue border checks for illegal migrants and radicalized individuals in five member states: Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.

On Friday, representatives from Denmark and Sweden showed their readiness to continue with the controls.

“I see it as essential that Denmark continues to have border control," Danish integration minister Inger Stojberg said in Brussels, The Local reported.

Sweden’s interior Minister Anders Ygeman, said in return that "none of the countries at this time have changed their position with regard to a month ago, when we agreed on the necessity of border controls."

In October, his German counterpart urged Greece to deal with the refugees landing on its shores and asked for the reinstation of the 1997 Dublin regulation, which states that the responsibility for processing asylum seekers lies with the country they first reached in Europe.

Maiziere said Germany would be sending asylum seekers back to Greece, if it was the first country they reached in the EU. Greek authorities said that they are already experiencing a huge influx of refugees, and must deal with some 60,000 people.