Germany, Austria and Finland are considering the unilateral restoration of border controls for passengers and vectors coming from Greece. In statements made by the Austrian and German Interior Ministers at the meeting of the Council of Interior Ministers of 8 March 2012, the two ministers expressed their concerns about Greece’s inability to effectively control flows of illegal immigrants at its land borders with Turkey. In a written question to the EU Commission, the Greek MEP Georgios Papanikolaou asked for the EC Commission’s view. Cecilia Malmström, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs responds (E-002940/2012):
The Commission shares the concerns about the flow of irregular migrants into Greece, in particular through the external border withTurkey and has put in place a comprehensive strategy to tackle this problem, elements of which are of an operational nature involving the FRONTEX agency […] At the same time, the Commission continues to encourage the Turkish authorities to sign the readmission agreement it has negotiated with the European Union, fully implementing its existing readmission obligations to better prevent irregular migration generally and to cooperate with EUROPOL and FRONTEX in this endeavour.
As regards the possible reintroduction of internal border controls between Member States inside the Schengen area, the Commission […] recalls that this is only possible – as an exceptional and temporary measure by a Member State – when it is considered necessary on account of a serious threat to public policy or internal security.