Austria Introduces Border Controls at Czech Border

PoliticsBrussels ♦ Published: October 17, 2023; 23:55 ♦ (Vindobona)

In a remarkable reaction to Germany's decision to introduce stationary border controls at its borders with the Czech Republic, Poland, and Switzerland, Austria has announced that it will also introduce controls at its border with the Czech Republic. This step is intended to combat illegal migration and smuggling activities.

In the fight against illegal migration, Austria already controls its borders with Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia. / Picture: © BMI/Gerd Pachauer

Austria's announcement to introduce controls at the Czech border was made in response to Germany's decision to monitor its borders, as reported by DerStandard. Germany had announced that it would maintain this measure for at least six more months. The goal of both countries is to "prevent an immediate shift of routes of the smuggling mafia towards Austria."

Commitment to fight illegal migration

Austria has already controlled its borders with Slovakia, Hungary and Slovenia as part of its efforts to combat illegal migration, ORF reported. These controls are carried out in close cooperation with German police authorities and other Schengen countries, including Poland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Denmark, France, Norway and Sweden.

Austrian border controls will be "closely coordinated with the Czech authorities," the Interior Ministry stressed, according to ORF. The focus areas for the controls are in the high-level road network, which includes six border crossings.

The decision to take this measure also came against the backdrop of a massive increase in migrant apprehensions in Slovakia, which has risen 900 percent in recent weeks compared to the previous year, according to DerStandard. Similar increases were also recorded in Germany, France and Spain. In contrast, the number of apprehensions and asylum applications in Austria has dropped by about 50 percent in recent months.

While controls at the borders with Hungary and Slovenia have been in place for years, only temporary controls have been carried out at the Czech and Slovak borders in the past. Germany only recently began permanent border controls at its crossings with Poland and the Czech Republic.