EU Extends Schengen Border Controls for Another Six Months

epa04505610 A view of Schengen's sign in the village of Schengen, Luxembourg, 14 October 2014. EPA/NICOLAS BOUVY

EU member states of the European Council backed last week’s recommendation from the European Commission to extend border controls in the passport-free Schengen zone that were reintroduced in some places as a response to the refugee crisis.

Member states that called for an extension were Germany, Austria, Denmark and Sweden, whereas Norway — not a Schengen member — also requested an extension so as to curtail the flow of people in the worst migrant crisis since World War II.

The decision suspends the principle of free travel in the EU and allows for border checks within the bloc’s passport-free zone until the end of the year.

Greece and Slovenia were opposed to the measure, with the former condemning the move a day after the EC highlighted deficiencies in its external border checks and Slovenia arguing that Austria’s decision for checks on their shared border was unjustifiable.