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16.05.2008

Austria is preparing to reintroduce border control at the internal borders with its all neighbouring countries including the Czech Republic. So called temporary reintroduction of border checks at the state borders (land borders and airports) will take place from 2 June 2008 until 1 July 2008.

In this period, it will be possible to cross the Czech-Austrian state border only at the border crossing points. Similarly, it will be necessary to undergo border checks when flying from/to Austria. In principle, Austria will renew regime which was applied at the Czech-Austrian border prior to the Schengen enlargement on 21 December 2007.

Austrian authorities will carry out checks on the bases of risk analyses taking into consideration the situation in the region concerned. In practice, it will be possible that police officers will not carry out police checks at every border crossing point and that they will not check every person crossing the border.

The aim of the temporary reintroduction of border control at the Austrian state border is to prevent illegal migration related to the organisation of the European championship in football.

Austrian authorities point out at possible delays caused by border checks which should be taken into account when planning the route to/from or through the Austrian territory.

Last but not least it shall be underlined that regardless the temporary reintroduction of border checks at the state border, according to current European rules, every person should be able to prove his/her identity by showing a valid travel document or ID. Third-country nationals who are subject to visa obligation should also be in possession of a valid visa or residence permit issued by a Schengen state.

Temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders is in full compliance with Schengen rules. So called Schengen Borders Code, which regulates rules on border control, in Article 23 states as follows:

1. Where there is a serious threat to public policy or internal security, a Member State may exceptionally reintroduce border control at its internal borders for a limited period of no more than 30 days or for the foreseeable duration of the serious threat if its duration exceeds the period of 30 days, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 24 or, in urgent cases, with that laid down in Article 25. The scope and duration of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders shall not exceed what is strictly necessary to respond to the serious threat.

2. If the serious threat to public policy or internal security persists beyond the period provided for in paragraph 1, the Member State may prolong border control on the same grounds as those referred to in paragraph 1 and, taking into account any new elements, for renewable periods of up to 30 days, in accordance with the procedure laid down in Article 26.

Further necessary information about measures applied by Austrian authorities will be provided by the Austrian Embassy in Prague.