The terrorist attacks of the last few days in Europe have set the authorities in many countries on fire, prompting many to take safety measures.
Therefore, Austria, Germany, Norway, Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, Sweden and France have reintroduced border controls and Italy has just taken a similar measure, reintroducing control borders with Slovenia, thus questioning the future of the Schengen space.
Italy has restored border controls with Slovenia as part of its strategy to improve internal security in the face of the threat of terrorist attacks in Europe, the government in Rome said on Wednesday, Reuters reports.
“The intensification of crisis outbreaks at Europe’s borders, especially after the attack in Israel, has in fact increased the level of the threat of violent actions inside the Union as well,” the government in Rome declared in a statement.
“The suspension of the Schengen Treaty on free movement in Europe has become necessary (…) and I take full responsibility for this,” Italian Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni wrote on X, the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Meloni stated that the government informed the European Union authorities about this decision and that he discussed with the Slovenian counterparts. “Police measures at the Italian-Slovenian border were not adequate to guarantee the necessary security,” the government statement said, citing illegal migrant flows as a potential risk.
Border controls will be restored starting October 21 for an initial period of 10 days, which the government may decide to extend. According to the Schengen Treaty, free cross-border movement is normally allowed in most of the European Union.
Austria has also introduced border controls with the Czech Republic last night to deter migrant smugglers who want to change routes after Germany decided to strengthen its surveillance. This measure came into force at midnight from Tuesday to Wednesday, the Ministry of the Interior announced.
Austria, which has informed the European Commission (EC) about this measure, wants to “prevent the mafia of passers-by from changing their itineraries”, announced the Minister of the Interior Gerhard Karner.
At the beginning of October, Vienna introduced controls at the border with Slovakia, as well as the Czech Republic and Poland.
Austria thus hopes to maintain a downward trend in migration registered in recent months, in the context of increasing migration pressure in the European Union (EU). Its neighbors registered a net increase in illegal migration, which led to the introduction of measures in all directions.
Germany – the main destination of refugees from Syria and Afghanistan – announced on Monday the imposition of “stationary” controls at the border with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. The re-introduction of such controls in the Schengen area is authorized only in exceptional circumstances and must be notified to the Commission before entering into force.
The MFA has issued a travel warning for Romanians going to Italy
The Romanian Ministry of Foreign Affairs informs Romanian citizens who are in, transiting or intending to move from/towards the Italian Republic by crossing the borders with the Republic of Slovenia that the local authorities have reinstated land border controls, starting on October 21, 2023, for a period of 10 days, with the possibility of extension.
The measure was instituted against the background of the intensification of threats and cases of violence within the European Union, according to a press release from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
According to the quoted source, the re-establishment of border controls may imply a possible increase in waiting times. Romanian citizens can request consular assistance at the telephone numbers of the Embassy of Romania in the Italian Republic: +39 06 835 233 44; +39 06 835 233 52; +39 06 835 233 58; +39 06 835 233 56; +39 06 835 233 69; +39 06 835 233 71; +39 06 835 233 74, calls being forwarded to the Contact and Support Center of Romanian Citizens Abroad and taken over by call center operators on a permanent basis.
At the same time, Romanian citizens who face a difficult, special situation, with an emergency character, have at their disposal the following telephone lines depending on the region:
Consulate General of Romania in Bari: +39 334.604.2299
Consulate General of Romania in Bologna: +39 324.803.5171
Consulate General of Romania in Milan: +39 366.108.1444
Consulate General of Romania in Rome: +39 345.147.3935
Consulate General of Romania in Turin: +39 338.756 .8134
Consulate General of Romania in Trieste : +39 340.882.1688
Consulate of Romania in Catania: +39 320.965.3137