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Germany is considering establishing short-term border controls with Poland and the Czech Republic to keep irregular migrants from entering the country, a government official said Friday.
Interior Minister Nancy Faeser told German newspaper Welt am Sonntag that setting up temporary police checks on border crossings would help Germany prevent the smuggling and trafficking of people.
She added that the increased border checks would need to be combined with the already ongoing random police checks that are being carried out.
Germany, Poland and the Czech Republic belong to the European Union’s visa-free zone, commonly known as the Schengen Area.
“Respective additional border police measures are currently being reviewed,” a German Interior Ministry spokesperson told the German news agency dpa.
Faeser is also discussing with the Czech Republic the possibility of German police officers operating on Czech territory, similar to an agreement that Germany has struck with Switzerland.
“In close coordination with Swiss police forces, German police officers are allowed to inspect on Swiss territory and to prevent unauthorized entry (into Germany),” the minister said.
Faeser also demanded closer cooperation on migration between the EU and Turkey, and said that the current EU-Turkey deal required an “update.”
The number of people who migrated to Germany in 2022 was higher than in any other year, according to the German federal statistics agency Destatis, with about 2.67 million people having entered the country in 2022.
Included in the number are 1.1 million Ukrainian refugees who sought safety in Germany after Russian launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine in February 2022.
Follow AP’s coverage of migration issues at https://apnews.com/hub/migration