The European Union held emergency talks on Wednesday with Denmark, Sweden and Germany amid mounting concerns over new border controls.
New border controls raise concerns about Europe’s Schengen passport-free zone.
EU migration commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos convened the talks after
Sweden introduced ID checks with Denmark, followed by a similar move by the Danish government, which began border controls with Germany to curb the influx of immigrants and refugees.
EU Commissioner said the only way forward is European solutions with all 28 member states and to ensure best administration of migratory flows.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH):DIMITRIS AVRAMOPOULOS, European Commission member
“We all agreed that the Schengen free movement must be safeguarded both for citizens and economy. Exceptional measures as you know have been taken, We agreed to keep to minimum and return to normal as soon as possible. This means flows have to be slowed down.”
Border checks were temporarily re-introduced by some countries amid a huge movement of more than one million refugees and migrants, mainly from Syria, over the past year.
Around 160-thousand migrants were already taken in by Sweden making it the largest number for any EU country, in relation to its population. That is why the government decided to impose stricter controls.
SOUNDBITE (ENGLISH) MORGAN JOHANNSON, Swedish Minister for Justice and Migration
“We have to work together to uphold the rules within the EU, the principle of which is that you should apply for asylum first to the country when you arrive to, the Dublin system which is also the base for the European system and also to have measures to slow down the highway that is now being introduced through Europe via Greece, Balkans, Austria, Germany and then up to the Nordic countries.”
Earlier this week, the European Commission announced that only around 0.17 percent of asylum seekers arriving in Greece and Italy have been resettled so far in other EU member states. The European scheme requires states to resettle 160,000 arrivals over a two-year period.