Suspension of Schengen borders to remain in place until end of year

Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela confirms Schengen agreement to remain suspended until 31 December

The reintroduction of controls as a security measure at Malta’s borders will remain in place until 31 December, Home Affairs Minister Carmelo Abela said.

During a discussion on TVM’s Realta, the Home Affairs Minister said the decision to suspend Schengen will be extended till the end of year, thereby allowing controls at the airport and seaports.

Malta suspended Schengen as a security measure during the Valletta Summit and again for the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in November.
But Prime Minister Joseph Muscat said the suspension will go on due to heightened security concerns across Europe following the horrific terrorist attacks by Islamic State operatives in Paris on 13 November.

Due to the Valletta Summit and the ongoing Commonwealth Summit, Malta has sought the assistance of the UK government in the provision of tighter security. The UK has made available its HMS Bulwark, the HMS Somerset as well as Merlin helicopters and Typhoon fighter jets.

The tighter security controls were in place as a precaution, the Prime Minister has said, adding that the island did not face any known threat.

The Opposition is however not happy about the suspension of Schengen, with leader Simon Busuttil arguing that controls came at the expense of freedom of movement.