Temporary checks at the borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland will be continued for three months
15 December 2023
Federal Minister of the Interior Nancy Faeser: “Our measures are showing results.” / Around 340 people smugglers arrested / Border checks extended to 15 March 2024
In order to combat illegal migrant smuggling more effectively and to limit irregular migration, the temporary border checks reintroduced in mid-October at Germany’s land borders with the Republic of Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland will be continued. On the basis of Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code, the temporary border checks will be continued until 15 March 2024. The European Commission was notified of these measures today. Temporary border checks will also continue to take place along the German-Austrian border; these checks are currently set to continue until 11 May 2024.
Federal Minister of the Interior and Community Faeser said,
“Today I decided to continue the temporary checks along our borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland for a further three months until mid-March 2024. European law provides for this step-by-step approach. The Federal Police can now continue to act flexibly, choosing from a whole package of static and mobile border policing measures. I would like to extend my sincere thanks to the Federal Police officers for their great dedication.
Our measures are showing results. Our fight against the brutal and unscrupulous smuggling business, which is putting people’s lives at risk, is successful. Since mid-October, the Federal Police have arrested around 340 people smugglers as part of the checks at internal Schengen borders.
Thanks to our temporary border checks and the closely coordinated measures of our neighbouring countries, the number of people entering Germany illegally has decreased by more than 60 per cent, from over 20,000 people in October to some 7,300 people in November.
We will also continue to do everything we can to ensure that these checks have as little impact as possible on commuters, trade and travel.
Moreover, one fact remains: protection of the EU’s external borders is crucial if we want to reduce irregular migration. In order to achieve this, we need the Common European Asylum System. We are working hard to pass EU legislation on this now.”
The Federal Police will continue to carry out border policing measures at flexible locations and times, and along different smuggling routes, according to how the situation develops. This should also help prevent smugglers from using alternative routes. Depending on the intensity with which they are carried out, the checks may have an impact on cross-border traffic, but this will continue to be avoided as far as possible.
Since the temporary border checks were reintroduced at the land borders with Poland, the Czech Republic, Austria and Switzerland on 16 October 2023, the Federal Police have recorded approximately 14,600 illegal entries and have implemented around 7,100 measures to end residence or prevent entry. Around 340 people smugglers were also arrested during this period.
So far this year, the Federal Police have registered around 119,000 illegal entries into Germany. By comparison, in 2022, there were around 92,000 illegal entries in total.
As is currently the case, third-country nationals requesting protection are generally taken to an initial reception centre to have their asylum case reviewed, and, if applicable, may be transferred to another EU member state in accordance with the Dublin Regulation. The same applies as long as the temporary checks are conducted at internal Schengen borders.