The EU’s idyll of passport-free travel between member states is being destroyed by terrorist threats and out-of-control immigration, resulting in a dramatic change in the face of Europe. Governments across the bloc are scrambling to restore their sovereignty and bolster national security by implementing border checks. A detailed map compiled by the Mail reveals that 11 nations in the Schengen area, including France, Slovakia, Sweden, and Germany, have re-instated long-abandoned border restrictions such as identity vetting, passport checks, police interviews, static checkpoints, and vehicle inspections.
According to an EU report on the new controls, many countries believe that border checks are necessary to prevent the “infiltration” of Middle Eastern terrorists posing as migrants and to address the strain on overwhelmed asylum reception centers. Italy, for example, has increased border checks with Slovenia, citing the Israel-Hamas war as the reason for an “increased threat of violence within the EU” and the risk of terrorist-migrants arriving amid constant migratory pressure from land and sea.
The article includes images that depict the importance of border checks in preventing the infiltration of terrorists and the strains on asylum reception centers. France, in particular, has reintroduced checks at all its internal EU borders, with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin emphasizing the need for decisions in a Europe surrounded by unstable lands.France has reintroduced checks at all its internal EU borders, with Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin stating that the country is seeking decisions in a Europe surrounded by unstable lands. In response, Slovenia has also announced checks on its borders with Hungary and Croatia, citing similar problems as Italy and threats to public order and internal security. These border clampdowns go against the Schengen treaty, which was introduced almost 40 years ago to allow free movement of travelers between certain European countries.
The Schengen treaty, named after the area where Luxembourg, France, and Germany converge, was initially signed to cover the majority of countries in the expanding EU. It allows for passport-free travel between member states, without identity checks, until individuals leave the EU. While Brussels bureaucrats and politicians have hailed it as the crown jewel of European integration, the policy has been criticized for attracting migrants and terrorists.
Last year, a significant number of asylum-seekers, refugees, and illegal migrants successfully entered the EU through its external borders and were then able to travel freely within the bloc under Schengen rules. The Mail has been monitoring migrants throughout their journeys, including Tunisians who traveled from Sicily to Dunkirk in just four days before attempting to reach the UK. Germany has also announced plans for a Rwanda-style scheme to process asylum-seekers outside the EU and increase border checks with neighboring countries.
Italy has expressed its intention to send migrants to Albanian reception centers for decisions on entry refusal. However, the border crackdown by EU nations has faced criticism for limiting travel rights for the 400 million Europeans living in the bloc. A recent report by Euroactiv highlighted the impact of these measures, noting delays and increased identity checks when crossing borders within the Schengen area.
The return of internal checks within the Schengen area has been met with criticism for restricting travel rights for 400 million Europeans.Posters demanding the reopening of four roads over the border with Spain have been put up in the town of Banyuls-sur-Mer in southern France. These roads were used by people-traffickers to bring migrants illegally into the EU, but they have been closed as an “anti-terrorism” measure by the Paris government. This decision has inconvenienced locals who now have to travel longer distances to visit relatives or go to work.
Migration expert Alberto-Horst Neidhardt from the Centre for European Policy Studies in Brussels has warned about the fragility of the Schengen zone due to the tightening of borders. He explained that under the Schengen agreement, large numbers of migrants arriving in southern Europe can freely move across the continent to countries like Germany, which experienced a significant increase in asylum applications last year, reaching a quarter of a million.
Germany’s ruling coalition, which includes pro-migration Greens, has raised concerns about the influx of illegal migrants into the country. Police figures show that 20,000 illegal migrants entered Germany in September alone, adding to the 92,119 who arrived between January and August. The German authorities predict that this year’s number of undocumented migrants will be the highest since 2016 when Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed Syrians fleeing the civil war, effectively opening Europe’s doors to all.
The scale of the influx has been described as a “breaking point” by Germany’s president Frank-Walter Steinmeier. The country’s taxpayers are facing increasing demands to provide housing, food, and benefits for the newcomers from the Balkan states, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. Chancellor Olaf Scholz has emphasized the need to deport those who have no right to stay in Germany and to significantly limit irregular migration. He stated that these individuals must leave the country.French Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin stated that French citizens are seeking decisions regarding immigration in a Europe surrounded by unstable lands. He emphasized that controlling immigration is crucial for sovereignty, allowing countries to determine who they want to welcome and who they want to separate from.
The map provided in the article highlights the reasons why many countries are deviating from the Schengen deal, and these reasons are deeply concerning. Denmark, for example, is facing a significant threat to internal security from terrorists, organized crime, and illegal migration. As a result, they have implemented checks at their land and sea borders with Germany and are considering extending these checks to air travelers arriving from other EU countries.
Sweden is also checking all its EU borders due to the threat of Islamic terrorism and the serious risk it poses to national security. Croatia’s Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic supports stricter pan-European borders, citing the numerous crises surrounding the EU, including Putin’s aggression against Ukraine, Hamas’s attack on Israel, and the intensified flows of illegal migration.
Plenkovic further explained that Italy’s decision to reintroduce internal border controls with Slovenia following the Hamas attack prompted Slovenia to do the same with Hungary and Croatia within 24 hours.
The article includes images of Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico visiting the borders and emphasizing the need for better protection of the EU’s external borders. German Chancellor Olaf Scholtz also echoed this call in an interview with Der Spiegel.
Italian Prime Minister Georgia Meloni has expressed Italy’s desire for stronger external border protection, as demonstrated by her meeting with Edi Rama of Albania.European countries are implementing stricter border controls in response to concerns about security and illegal immigration. Croatian Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic emphasized that these controls demonstrate politicians’ commitment to protecting their citizens. German Chancellor Olaf Scholz echoed this sentiment, calling for stronger protection of the EU’s external borders. Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni suspended the Schengen agreement and restored border controls with Slovenia due to intelligence reports indicating a high risk of terrorists entering Italy among Balkan migrants. Meloni warned that the entire Schengen project could be jeopardized in the effort to ensure Europe’s safety.
Different countries are implementing border checks in various ways. Italy has conducted spot checks at the Slovenia border, with Interior Minister Matteo Piantedosi stating that these checks are likely to continue into the next year. Slovakia deployed police officers, troops, and dogs to its border with Hungary to prevent undocumented migrants from entering the country. Slovakian Prime Minister Robert Fico emphasized that this show of strength sends a clear message to human smugglers and organizers of illegal migration. In Germany, armed police officers have been stopping cars on the motorway from Poland to check for illegal migrants and human smugglers.
Hungary, known for its strong anti-migrant stance, blames the tightened borders on the EU’s failure to address illegal mass immigration, which it believes poses a security threat to individual countries. Hungarian Foreign Minister Peter Szijjarto warned that if the EU does not change its migration policy, Europe could be torn apart by old borders.
The Schengen Borders Code of the EU states that controls and checks should be a last resort in response to a serious security threat. However, it appears that countries across Europe, despite previously advocating for free movement within the bloc, now believe that this moment has arrived and stricter border controls are necessary.
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