Poland Implements Border Checks with Slovakia to Deter Illegal Migration
Poland has announced the reinstatement of border controls with Slovakia to restrict the entry of illegal migrants. This decision comes just days after Germany indicated it might do the same along its borders with Poland and the Czech Republic for similar reasons, as reported by NotesfromPoland.
As members of the Schengen Area, Poland and Slovakia currently do not have border checkpoints between them. However, EU rules allow member states to temporarily reintroduce controls "as a last resort in exceptional circumstances."
"I have instructed the Minister of Internal Affairs to introduce checks on the Polish-Slovak border for minibuses, vans, cars, and buses that may be suspected of transporting illegal immigrants so that no one can accuse us of having a porous border," stated Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki.
The government has not yet provided details on when the new controls will be implemented and in what form. However, the RMF television network, citing insider sources, suggests they could start as soon as tomorrow and may involve selective vehicle checks believed to be carrying migrants.
RMF notes that this year, nearly 600 foreigners without permission to enter the country were apprehended near Poland's southern border, compared to 122 for the entire previous year. An additional 500 individuals who entered Poland from Slovakia or the Czech Republic were detained while attempting to cross into Germany.
Morawiecki stated today that such migrants had traveled through the Balkans, then Hungary and Slovakia before reaching Poland. A similar statement was previously made by government spokesperson Piotr Muller, who announced that Poland was considering the possibility of border checks.
Muller also mentioned that the government does not rule out introducing checks on the border with Germany if there is concern about "a potential immigration route from Lampedusa," referring to the Italian island that has recently received a large number of illegal immigrants crossing the Mediterranean from Africa.
This move by the Polish government comes after Germany's Interior Minister, Nancy Faeser, announced last week that Berlin was considering introducing checks along its borders with Poland and the Czech Republic to curb the increasing number of illegal migrants crossing into the country.