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Defence strategy ‘Swiss need border controls after Paris attacks’

Passport-free travel does not work anymore, according to Defence Minister Ueli Maurer

(Keystone)

Switzerland needs to improve its border controls in the wake of the attacks in Paris that killed 129 people, Defence Minister Ueli Maurer has told the SonntagsBlick newspaper. 

Switzerland had said on Saturday it would intensify border security but few details have been given. 

“I am in favour of strengthening our [border] controls,” Maurer said. “Until now that was a taboo politically. But now the measure of reintroducing border controls is necessary.” 

Maurer said Switzerland’s brigade of border security agents should be strengthened.

In an interview with the NZZ am Sonntag newspaper, he also called for increased and targeted surveillance of computer communication.

Voters are likely to have the final say on a legal reform approved by parliament earlier this year. 

Schengen-Dublin 

The defence minister, who said the attacks in Paris did not come as a surprise to him, is a member of the conservative right Swiss People’s Party. 

“In the next few days we must discuss whether we should better secure our borders – as our neighbours are doing,” he said. “Schengen-Dublin clearly does not work anymore.” 

The Dublin Regulation lays out the responsibilities of member-states in processing asylum applications and the Schengen Agreement allows for passport-free travel within its 26 members, which include Switzerland. 

The People’s Party recently won the biggest share of the vote in Swiss parliamentary elections. During the campaign the party campaigned against Swiss reforms to deal with asylum seekers, even though in Europe’s current migrant crisis Switzerland has handled far fewer migrants than some other nations such as Germany.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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