Norway extends internal controls again after EU order to open borders within six months

Earlier this month, and said they must be removed by the end of the year. 

On Wednesday however, Justice Minister Per-Willy Amundsen announced Norway would extend the restrictions, which were originally introduced to bring the migrant crisis under control, for another six months. 

Mr Amundsen told NTB: “We are extending with the same justification as before. The migrant situation indicates it is necessary to continue [the internal border].” 

Addressing the order to phase out the internal controls, which several Schengen members introduced, including Sweden and Germany, the cabinet minister said Norway’s interests came first. 

Mr Amundsen said: “We will have to see what we can do and if there are other measures that may be appropriate for us to make use of, if necessary. 

“We want to do what we think is right for Norwegian interests, based on the security situation and the migration situation.” 

Brussels has repeatedly reminded European countries that internal borders within Schengen should only be implemented as a “last resort” and need to be justified, in addition to as limited as possible. 

Announcing the measure, the EU’s migration chief Dimitris Avramopoulos said the time had come to “return to a normal functioning of the Schengen area”. 

He added that the five member states, which have been given a final six month extension to get their border controls in order, had been made aware of what was expected of them. 

The Greek official said: “Schengen is one of the greatest achievements of the European project and the most tangible example of European integration. 

“We must do everything to safeguard protect and defend it. But the only way to do this is in a joint, European and coordinated way. 

“What we propose today is to gradually phase out temporary internal border controls whilst at the same time strengthening the usual, proportionate police checks across the territory of the member states.” 

Mr Avramopoulos warned: “These temporary border controls, and this goes for all internal border controls, should be exceptional, proportionate and as a last resort for a strict and a limited period.

“This will be the last prolongation. No more than the next six months. They [member states] know that this is the last prolongation.”

While adhering to the

Swedish interior minister Anders Ygeman said: “The Government’s view is that the border controls are still necessary and they need to be tightened.

“In addition to prolonged and intensified border controls, the Government also wants to [further enable] police and customs to control our borders.”

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