The EU extended border controls Friday in the passport-free Schengen area for three months, missing an end-of-year deadline to scrap emergency checks brought in during the migrant crisis.
Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and non-EU Norway are all allowed to continue the checks which they first introduced in 2015 as a wave of refugees and migrants streamed across Europe.
“Our ultimate objective is to get back to Schengen as soon as possible,” said Slovak Interior Minister Robert Kalinak, whose country holds the rotating presidency of the European Union.
“Although we are not there yet, the situation is improving. The prolongation will therefore be for three months only, and there will be more intensive reporting obligations compared to the previous period.”
Brussels had said it wanted to restore full functioning with no border controls across the Schengen area — which includes 22 EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein — by the end of 2016.