The chairman of the European People’s Party, Manfred Weber, expects the controversial border controls at national internal borders to end once the asylum reform passed by the European Parliament is implemented.

“The will is there to bring the pact to life. If we succeed, we can return to an EU without controls at the internal borders,” the CSU deputy leader told the newspapers of the Funke media group. It is now important that the EU decisions on asylum policy are implemented, “especially in the asylum procedures at the external borders with closed camps”.

Just over a month ago, the European Parliament cleared the way for EU asylum reform and voted for the planned package that is intended to significantly tighten the current rules for migration to the European Union. Accordingly, the member states should be obliged to have uniform procedures at the external borders so that it can be quickly determined whether asylum applications are unfounded and the refugees can then be deported more quickly and directly from the external border. The reform still needs to be confirmed by the EU states. This is usually a formality. The EU states then have two years to implement the requirements.

Several EU countries had reintroduced controls at their internal borders, including Germany, Austria, France and Scandinavian countries. In Germany there have been controls on the border with Austria for years; in October they were also ordered for the borders with Poland, the Czech Republic and Switzerland. Weber said implementing the pact would take time. “But the number of asylum seekers will decrease significantly if we conclude more migration agreements and put a stop to smuggler gangs.” He wants to live in a free Europe without border controls again as quickly as possible.