Amid growing sentiment against open borders, European Union leaders are meeting in Rome to discuss the future of Europe’s refugee crisis, having taken a decision to extend internal border controls.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel sounded a note of caution, saying that solving the migrant crisis by closing Europe’s borders raised the risk of “falling back into nationalism.”
Along with a controversial proposed plan to fine those countries which refuse to accept asylum seekers – as much as 250,000 euros ($287,000) per migrant rejected – the E.U.’s executive Commission has extended the application of border controls in Germany, Austria, Sweden, Denmark and Norway.
All five countries are in the Schengen zone – 26 countries where travel is usually permitted without border controls.
The E.C. said it was taking the step in recognition of ongoing security concerns after the Brussels terror attacks in March and continued strain from refugees.
Earlier those countries sent an urgent letter to Brussels appealing for an extension of border controls.