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EU to reintroduce long-term border controls

European Commission confirmed EU border controls could be extended in crisis, giving it more leeway to stem migration.

The proposal by the EU executive comes as border controls in Germany, Austria, Denmark, and Norway expire, part of the European Union’s response to a surge of refugees and migrants in November 2015 that tested EU rules on passport-free travel.

Those countries must lift the frontier checks by November this year under a two-year-limit set by the bloc in the so-called Schengen area, which is named after a town in Luxembourg and aims to be a symbol of free movement in the bloc.

 While not referring to the four countries, the Commission’s plan, if agreed by EU governments, would allow them to keep the controls in place for another year if they can justify them.

EU home affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the threat of migrants coming through Greece and the Western Balkans was no longer a valid excuse for frontier checks.

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