The Austrian will first negotiate with Slovakia on compliance with the so-called readmission agreement, which regulates the transfer of migrants between states. He also wants to talk about the situation with representatives of Germany, where most migrants from the Czech Republic are headed.
“This is not an official proposal, but if Slovakia does not comply with the readmission agreement, random checks by police officers at the border will be the solution. But it’s a last resort. I still hope for an agreement,” the Austrian told Práv on Tuesday.
Illegal migration in the Czech Republic has grown sharply, year-on-year by more than half
According to readmission agreements, Slovakia is supposed to take back people who are detained at the state border or at the first train stop in the Czech Republic without proper permission. But he refuses. On the contrary, it accepts those who have a confirmation of the stay of a national of a third country on the territory of the Slovak Republic. The respect of the convention will be discussed with the Slovak Minister of the Interior Roman Mikulec Rakušan this week.
They are not honoring the agreement
“We are complying with the readmission agreement, but on the Slovak side it is very important. I will give the Slovak Minister of the Interior a clear proposal for a solution. I will show him the readmission agreement and I will want them to start applying it to the Czech side as well,” said the Austrian.
Police President Martin Vondrášek asked him to solve the problem with the Slovak side. As part of a police exercise at the border, officers secured 277 migrants and seven smugglers. The last total numbers of detained refugees were published by the police two weeks ago. Until then, it dealt with 4,194 so-called transit migrants who wanted to cross the Czechia to another country. Last year, however, it detained only 1,330 of them.
If Slovakia does not comply with readmission agreements, random checks at the borders will be the solution
“There are hundreds of arrests a day in our country, thousands in Austria. The good news is that crime has not increased because of this,” the Austrian pointed out, adding that this is primarily transit migration.
He sees the problem in Turkey. He wants to discuss it with Slovak and German partners. He then promised to inform the House of the reached agreement on how to solve the situation. This is how he reacted on Tuesday in the lower chamber to the call of the former chairman of the lower chamber, Radek Vondráček (ANO), who requested information from the government on the current state of illegal migration in the Czech Republic.
Austrian: Erdogan has opened the floodgates, he is letting the Syrians in here
“It is mainly due to Turkey, which we have documented. Turkey began to release the Syrian population it had detained for a long time under favorable conditions. But President (Recep Tayyip) Erdogan has an election coming up. “Syrian refugees are under more pressure and are looking for a way out of Turkey,” commented the Austrian.
The Minister of the Interior also wants to discuss the situation in the EU in order to significantly strengthen the units of the European border and coast guard agency Frontex, as well as to tighten the right to asylum. In cooperation with the Minister of Justice Pavle Blažek (ODS), he intends to submit a proposal to tighten the penalties for traffickers.
Germany is not yet considering permanent controls
The German side also notices the increase in the number of migrants from the Czech Republic. According to the head of the German Police Union (DPolG) Heik Teggatz, this is the highest increase in cases of migrants entering Germany without the necessary documents since 2015, when migrants mainly from Syria and Iraq fled to Europe.
This June, the federal police recorded 2,000 such cases of illegal border crossing from the Czech Republic to Germany. In a year-on-year comparison, this was an increase of 140 percent. In August, German officers secured 3,000 migrants, and that alone on the Saxon-Czech border.
Teggatz said smugglers have created new smuggling routes from the Balkans that now lead to Germany via Slovakia and the Czechia. According to him, it is related to the fact that Austria has tightened border controls with Hungary. That is also why he would like cross-border checks with the Czech Republic, which he is requesting from the German Minister of the Interior, Nancy Faeser.
Bild: The head of the German police union wants border controls with the Czech Republic
“With firm controls on the German-Czech border and, in the most favorable case, the introduction of controls on the Czech-Slovak border by the Czech Republic, this flow to Europe could be stopped, as we have been doing for years at the Austrian border,” said Teggatz on Monday.
According to the Austrian, however, Germany is not interested in closing the borders, which was also confirmed by the spokeswoman of the German Ministry of the Interior on Wednesday when asked by ČTK.
“The temporary reintroduction of internal border controls on the German-Czech border based on Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code is not currently under consideration,” said a spokeswoman for the Federal Ministry of the Interior, referring to the article of the Schengen Code that sets the conditions for the temporary reintroduction of controls.
The spokeswoman also said that Germany continues to carefully monitor how the number of unauthorized entries into Germany across the border with the Czech Republic will develop. According to her, the Federal Police will continue to take measures at the intra-Schengen border with the Czech Republic that are in accordance with Schengen rules and German regulations. “And depending on the situation, they will intensify these measures if necessary,” she said.
The Code at the internal borders between the member countries of the Schengen area allows for security measures that do not have the objective of border protection and that are clearly distinguished from systematic checks. These measures are assumed to be random in nature.