Polish-Czech-German taskforce to fight illegal migration

Polish and German services will cooperate more closely in combatting illegal migration by creating a special Polish-Czech-German taskforce, the Polish interior minister has said.

"We agreed that Polish and German services will cooperate more closely in combating illegal migration," Mariusz Kaminski said in a Thursday statement following talks with his German counterpart, Nancy Faeser. "For this purpose, a special task force will be created (...), consisting of officers from Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany."

German politicians, including the chancellor, Olaf Scholz, have recently expressed concerns about an increased inflow of migrants across the border with Poland. This has prompted some media and opposition politicians in Poland to warn that the border-free movement between Poland and Germany may be in jeopardy.

Kaminski said he and Faeser had discussed the situation on the Polish-German border and the increasing migratory pressure on the Balkan route.

"I emphasise that media reports about the alleged restoration of permanent controls on the internal Schengen border between Poland and Germany are untrue," Kaminski said. "The German side has only decided to increase the intensity of service activity on its side of the border with Poland. This does not constitute the restoration of controls in accordance with the applicable Schengen rules."

Kaminski also recalled that Poland had seen increased migration pressure on the so-called Balkan route, and as a result the Polish government decided to intensify control on the borders with Slovakia and the Czech Republic. This involves spot checks on buses and other vehicles that may be transporting migrants.

"As a result of these activities, only yesterday, approximately 150 illegal migrants from the Middle East (including Syria) and Africa were caught trying to get to Germany. It was also revealed that people involved in migrant smuggling had German short- and long-term residence permits (visas or right of residence)," Kaminski said.

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