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Parliamentary questions
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11 June 2019
Answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the European Commission
Question reference: E-001423/2019

1. The absence of controls at internal borders does not prevent checks within the territory. Those controls are legally possible as long as they do not have an effect equivalent to border checks at internal borders(1).

2. The assessment of possible threats to public policy or internal security is first and foremost in the hands of the Member State concerned.

3. It is up to the Member States to decide on the intensity of checks along national highways, based on the relevant information and in relation to the objectives pursued by the police. Such checks should always be proportionate to the identified threats. In the recommendation on proportionate police checks and police cooperation in the Schengen area(2) the Commission encouraged Member States to consider carrying out police checks on main transport routes such as motorways, as an alternative to internal border controls.

As explained in Recital 6 of the recommendation, the intensification of police checks in the entire territory of Member States, including in border areas, may be considered necessary and justified in view of threats related to public policy or internal security from terrorism, other serious cross-border crime and risks of secondary movements of persons who have irregularly crossed the external borders.

(1)In line with Article 23 of the Schengen Borders Code lifting of internal border controls shall not affect the exercise of police powers by the competent authorities of the Member States under national law insofar as the exercise of these powers does not have an effect equivalent to borders checks.

Last updated: 13 June 2019Legal notice