Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala (C) with his Slovakian counterpart Eduard Heger (C-L)
The Czech Republic, with the support of Slovakia, will demand greater involvement of other countries in the protection of the external Schengen border as part of its EU presidency. Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala said this at a meeting with Slovak Prime Minister Eduard Heger on tackling illegal migration at the Czech-Slovak border, according to a report by the Czech news portal iDnes.
Both countries want to take steps in the coming days to make the border more accessible to EU citizens, but the checks will continue for the time being.
Protecting the Hungarian-Serbian border is key to mitigating migration. The Czech Republic is ready to double the number of police officers working at the border from 40 to 80 in the spring,
Fiala said. Czech and Slovak police will also coordinate their activities at the border, including joint patrols, especially on railways.
Controls at the border with Slovakia introduced at the end of September by the Czech Republic because of the mostly Syrian migrants arriving through Slovakia and the Czech Republic to Germany, will remain in place after 12 December. However, their further extension will be discussed by experts from both countries.
“We will proceed together, the Czech Republic and Slovakia, to make efforts towards other member states to jointly strengthen and help at the Hungarian-Serbian border,” Eduard Heger said. Hungary cannot have enough capacity, he said, because it is beyond the power of one country, he added. The Slovak prime minister emphasized that his aim is to eliminate illegal migration so that citizens can regain the comfort that Schengen brings, namely free movement between countries.
For the next 30 days, the controls will operate under another part of the regulation, unless the European Commission objects. Czech and Slovak officials have argued in late October over whether the Czech controls violate the Schengen agreement. According to Slovak Interior Minister Roman Mikulec, the Czech Republic is violating the so-called readmission agreement between the two countries in connection with the transfer of migrants. Czech interior minister Vít Rakusan, on the other hand, insists that the extension of border controls is exactly within the limits of international rules and that the Czech Republic is not violating the EU law in any way.
Featured Photo. Facebook Petr Fiala