News BlogBorders Immigration Asylum

Czechs and Slovaks in joint border control exercise

(credit: Czech MoD)
(credit: Czech MoD)

(B2) Czech and Slovak forces carried out a joint border control exercise on Tuesday (September 27).

The objective was to check whether the different forces, Czech and Slovak, police and military, could face a " influx of migrants ". It was based on a fictitious decision by the Slovak government to move to the highest level of control. 500 police officers, customs officers and soldiers were mobilized for this exercise which took place over 250 kilometers of the border line and 16 border posts, with vehicle checks carried out randomly.

Testing police-army cooperation at the borders

« For the men, this exercise was an excellent opportunity to improve cooperation on the ground with the police to [plan] all procedures in the face of an emergency situation of influx of illegal migrants “, underlined the Czech Minister of Defense, Martin Stropnický visiting one of the border crossings in Lanžhot Břeclav, Tuesday (September 27), border town of the three countries (Austria, Slovakia, Czech Republic). " It is also an important message for our populations that we are ready for these extraordinary events. At the moment, we are not facing such an influx (…) but we are following developments very closely (*).

A perceived threat

The arrival of refugees and migrants en masse is one of the fears of the Czech and Slovak security forces (and most Eastern European countries for that matter). The precedent of the summer of 2015 with the arrival of numerous refugees and migrants, via Greece and the Balkans resonates in everyone's heads. “ Even if we observe a 40% drop in illegal migration, we must prepare for any risky situation », justified Tomáš Tuhý, the head of the Czech police, according to the CTK agency. A first exercise took place at the end of September 2015, with 800 soldiers and police officers engaged in an exercise on the Czech border with Austria. A second exercise took place on the same border in March 2016. A full-scale test was carried out in April 2016 to test response times at the border in the event of a sudden crisis in Moravia. A similar test is expected to be carried out along the German border this year. And another exercise is planned along the Polish border in 2017.

(NGV)

(*) Original version in Czech, translated by us

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).