European Commission Statement following the temporary reintroduction of border controls by Austria, particularly at the Hungarian-Austrian border

The European Commission has received a notification from the Austrian authorities informing about their intention to temporarily reintroduce controls, as of 16 September, at the borders with other EU Member States, particularly at the Austrian border with Hungary but also at the borders with Italy, Slovakia and Slovenia. The temporary reintroduction of border controls between Member States is an exceptional possibility explicitly foreseen in and regulated by the Schengen Borders Code, in case of a crisis situation. The current situation in Austria, prima facie, appears to be a situation covered by the rules. The measures taken by Austria, like those taken by Germany on 13 September, are provisional in nature. At the Extraordinary Council of Interior Ministers of 14 September, Member States stressed the need to fully apply the EU asylum and Schengen rules. As President Juncker said in his State of the Union speech: “The free movement of people under Schengen is a unique symbol of European integration. However, the other side of the coin is a better joint management of our external borders and more solidarity in coping with the refugee crisis.” The situation serves to further underscore the pressing need to agree on and quickly implement the measures proposed by the Commission in order to manage the refugee crisis. The full statement can be found here.