- Hans Weber
- December 4, 2023
Germany to Introduce Random Border Checks with the Czech Republic Amid Rising Asylum Applications
Czech Interior Minister Vit Rakusan has confirmed that Germany is preparing to implement random border checks with the Czech Republic, emulating a similar approach that the Czech Republic has already adopted at its border with Slovakia. The decision was reportedly made in response to the increasing number of asylum applications and a surge in people smuggling, prompting Germany to consider stricter measures.
Speaking on Twitter, Minister Rakusan noted that the random checks are intended to effectively combat smuggling and underlined the need for Europe to establish a cohesive solution to safeguard its external borders. He had a discussion with his German counterpart Nancy Faeser about the situation, highlighting the urgency of the matter.
According to reports in Die Welt, Germany is planning to temporarily reintroduce stationary border checks with the Czech Republic, Poland, and Switzerland, similar to the checks implemented at its border with Austria since 2015. Faeser is expected to notify the European Commission about this decision, which stems from the heightened security concerns and the recent surge in asylum applications in Germany.
Last week, the Czech government extended its random checks at the border with Slovakia, which were initially planned for ten days, until November 2. The Czech Republic, along with Poland and Austria, introduced these measures at the Slovak border starting on October 4. The checks conducted during the first week led to the interception of 283 irregular migrants. The police denied entry to 234 individuals, and in 27 cases, the Czech Republic implemented readmission measures towards Slovakia. Additionally, 12 smugglers were detained. To facilitate these random checks, the Interior Ministry recommends that individuals near the state border carry identification cards or passports.
Faeser has faced pressure from various quarters, including the opposition Christian Democratic Union (CDU), the DPolG police trade union, and state ministers from Saxony, Brandenburg, and Hesse, to introduce stationary border checks with neighboring countries, similar to the measures in place with Austria. The decision to expand the sections with stationary border controls, as reported by Welt.de, comes after extensive deliberation within the German government, in response to concerns about heightened security risks due to the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian radical movement Hamas.
Germany has experienced a significant influx of asylum applications this year, with over 200,000 filed so far, and projections suggesting that the number could reach 400,000 by year-end. To address the migrant crisis, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz initiated discussions with CDU head Friedrich Merz and representatives from federal states to seek a broad consensus within Germany on how to manage the situation effectively. The decision to implement random border checks reflects a broader strategy to address this evolving challenge.
Article by Prague Forum