Written Answer to a Question: Controls in Germany on flights from Greece

Joint answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission to a Question (Rule 130) by Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi (PPE) on “Controls in Germany on flights from Greece”.

Joint answer given by Mr Avramopoulos on behalf of the Commission

Written questions: E-007206/17 , P-007170/17 , P-007203/17 , E-007102/17 , E-007214/17

he current controls on passengers of flights arriving from Greece to Germany are carried out by Germany based on Article 25 of the Schengen Borders Code (SBC) and not on a recommendation from the Council adopted in accordance with Article 29 of the Schengen Borders Code, in reply to serious deficiencies in the border management of the external borders posing a serious threat to the overall functioning of the Schengen area.

In accordance with Article 27(2) of the SBC Germany has notified the Commission, as well as the European Parliament and the Council about this reintroduction of internal border controls.

Following the received notification the Commission requested Germany (as well as the other Member States who decided to reintroduce border controls at the same time, on similar grounds) for additional clarifications. The Commission is assessing the received information.

A meeting convened by the Commission to discuss at the technical level the modalities of these checks has shown that Greece and Germany have been cooperating on the issue of fraudulent documents as seized both in Greece and in Germany from passengers intending to travel/travelling to Germany. The main focus of these controls is the check of the identity and the verification of the authenticity of documents.

The German notification concerns a period of six months starting from 12 November 2017.

Question for written answer P-007170/2017
to the Commission
Rule 130
Elissavet Vozemberg-Vrionidi (PPE)

Subject: Controls in Germany on flights from Greece

The German airport authorities have recently been carrying out exhaustive passport checks on every single passenger arriving on flights from Greece. It has been reported that, since 12 November, passengers from Greece have been required to disembark at separate exits for this purpose. Indeed, a German police spokesperson has confirmed that flights from Greece are being subjected to the same systematic checks by the German authorities as those arriving from Turkey or Egypt.
However, the reintroduction of temporary border controls at the internal borders of the Schengen Area are intended as an exceptional measure to be taken as a last resort and applied only to a limited extent, so as to minimise the impact on freedom of movement. 
In view of this:
– Has it been judged necessary to impose such controls on Greece, as if it were actually outside the Schengen area, according to the criteria for the temporary reintroduction of border controls set out in the Schengen Border Code?
– Have serious flaws been detected in the external border checks carried out by Greece that would justify implementation of the above measures to safeguard public policy or internal security within the Schengen area (Article 29)?
– For how long have the German authorities indicated that they plan to carry out such checks?

Source: European Parliament

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