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EURO 2024: Faeser: Border controls now possible due to European Football Championship

EURO 2024: Faeser: Border controls now possible due to European Football Championship

European football championships usually bring with them unusual border controls. Now it’s that time again. The precautionary measure is not just intended to ward off terrorists.

The Federal Police can now temporarily carry out checks at all German borders due to the European Football Championship. The checks will also be carried out at the borders with Denmark, France and the Benelux countries, where there were none previously, the Federal Ministry of the Interior announced. In addition, travelers from the Schengen area can also be checked in air traffic and at ports.

The controls will be carried out “depending on the situation and flexible,” it said. Federal Interior Minister Nancy Faeser (SPD) had previously ordered this due to the high security precautions for the European Football Championship, which begins on June 14 with the opening match between Germany and Scotland in Munich.

Terror, hooligans and cyber attacks

“Our focus ranges from the threat of Islamist terror to hooligans and cyber attacks,” Faeser emphasized in a statement. “The Federal Police will protect the German borders, airports and rail traffic.” They are looking forward to the European Football Championship in their own country, but security is the highest priority.

The aim of the controls is to identify and stop violent offenders at an early stage, with travellers and commuters being disrupted as little as possible.

The existing stationary controls at the borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland were recently extended by six months until mid-December. Faeser ordered them for the first time in October 2023 and has since extended them several times. The aim is to combat smuggling crime and limit irregular migration. The border controls at the German-Austrian land border have been in place since autumn 2015.

Security situation “tense”

The temporary controls at all German internal Schengen borders ordered because of the European Championship have been registered at EU level until July 19 – a few days after the final on July 14 in Berlin’s Olympic Stadium. All travelers are therefore asked to carry valid travel documents with them.

Faeser recently said that the security situation was “tense”. However, there were no concrete indications of planned attacks because of the European Championship. During the tournament, around 580 foreign police officers will be deployed alongside German officials, particularly on patrol at the host cities and on rail traffic.

According to the ministry, this is part of an intensive cooperation with the security authorities of the participating, neighboring and possible transit states. The International Police Cooperation Center (IPCC) in Neuss (North Rhine-Westphalia) is the heart of this national and international cooperation.

Source: Stern

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