Slovakia Accuses Czech Republic of Violating Schengen Code by Keeping Border Controls in Place

The Minister of Interior of Slovakia, Roman Mikulec, has said that his country believes that the Czech Republic has violated the Schengen Code by introducing and extending border controls on the common border.

Last week, Mikulec said that the Czech Republic is breaching the readmission agreement related to the transfer of migrants that the two countries have and pointed out that Slovakia may decide to suspend this agreement, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

According to Mikulec, the introduction of internal border controls should be the last measure, as there are other options too. Furthermore, Minister Mikulec stressed that border control measures only be introduced when the other measures prove to be ineffective.

In addition to the above-mentioned, Minister Mikulec said that Czechia violates the readmission agreement that the two countries have by taking detained migrants to the border with Slovakia without observing agreements as well as reciprocity and, at the same time, emphasised that they threaten the lives of migrants.

“Not only do they violate the readmission agreement, but they also threaten the lives and health of the migrants themselves,” the statement of Mikulec reads.

Minister Mikulec also highlighted that the agreement on the readmission of migrants could only be applied if they are able to return migrants to their country of origin. However, since the majority of migrants as from Syria and Afghanistan, the Minister said that Slovakia could not return them as there is a war conflict.

On the other hand, the Minister of Interior of the Czech Republic, Vít Rakušan, has said in response to the criticism from Slovakia that his country’s decision to introduce as well as keep in place border checks at the border with Slovakia is fully in line with the Schengen agreements.

The Czech Republic decided last week to prolong the border controls with Slovakia until mid-December. Announcing the news, the authorities of Czechia said that the measures would remain in place until December 12 and pointed out that they may get extended again if the situation remains concerning.

The introduction of internal border checks by Schengen-associated countries is regulated by the Schengen Borders Code, and such a move must be taken as a last resort measure in exceptional situations and proportionality.

The introduction of internal border checks can happen in two cases – in cases requiring immediate action as well as in foreseeable cases.

The Commission explains that for foreseeable events, the duration of the border control is limited to 30 days. Additionally, the same notes that if required, the border controls can be prolonged for renewable periods of 30 days and that the total period shall not exceed six months.

Source

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