Germany’s Union parties call for border controls with Switzerland and Czech Republic

Germany’s Union parties, the Christian Democratic Union (CDU) and the Christian Social Union in Bavaria (CSU) have called for the establishment of internal border controls between Germany and the border countries of Switzerland and the Czech Republic.

Both political parties recently made a formal request to the German government demanding the reinstatement of border controls with Switzerland and the Czech Republic so as to tackle rising irregular migration from these neighboring countries into Germany.

The Union is currently preparing a motion on the issue, and it intends to present it to the German federal parliament, the Bundestag, in the coming months.

In comments about the motion, Christoph de Vries, a member of the German federal parliament from the CDU, noted that the rate of irregular entries through Germany’s borders with Switzerland and the Czech Republic has risen in recent times, causing local municipalities and amenities to become overwhelmed.

The Chairman of the CDU, Friedrich Merz, also pointed out the rising number of irregular migrants in Germany, and how these undocumented migrants are causing a strain on the German asylum system.

“In Germany, we have at least 300,000 people who are enforceably obliged to leave the country and they are neither returned nor deported,” Merz wrote in a social media post last Sunday.

“We urgently need consistent protection of Europe‘s external borders and consistent returns,” he said.

According to the German Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), between January and March this year, over 87,000 people applied for asylum in Germany. 80,978 of those were first-time applications, while the rest were repeated applications.

Germany currently has existing border controls with Austria. Since last year, these controls at the Germany-Austria border have stopped almost 15,000 from illegally entering into Germany through Austria.

The German border controls with Austria were extended on April 15.

Conversely, the lack of internal border controls with Switzerland and Czechia has caused an unchecked increase in irregular migration through those borders.

According to the German Federal Police, since 2022 there has been “a continuously increasing trend in relation to illegal entries.”

In the first quarter of 2023, 1,516 irregular migrants entered Germany through the Czechia border. Through the Swiss border, 3,063 irregular migrants came in.

The call for border controls has been criticized by many, including Pro Asyl, a refugee aid organization based in Frankfurt. According to Pro Asyl, the continuous extension of internal border controls is not only uncharacteristic of the spirit of the EU, but it is also contrary to EU laws.

Announcing the extension of border controls with Austria on April 15, the German Minister of the Interior, Nancy Fraser, told the EU Commission in a letter that the high rate of irregular migration into Germany necessitates border controls in order to ensure the security of Germany, which in 2022 was the EU country with the highest number of asylum applications received.

In response to the requests of the Union, the minister said that currently there is no reason to impose border control measures with the neighboring countries.

Umar Ali
As editor in chief, I am always on the road, searching for hidden gems, undiscovered waterfalls, enticing hikes to explore, underrated delis, and more. Crafting compelling content that captures the true essence of each place is my passion. With years of experience in travel journalism, I strive to provide unbiased and factual content based on my real-life experiences. When I'm not out exploring, you can find me delving into local markets and devouring new foods, immersing myself in the cultures and communities that make each destination unique. It might sound like a tough job, but I love it!