Sweden has announced the introduction of temporary border checks to control the flow of migrants into the country.It said it took the step because a surge in new arrivals had resulted in a threat to public order.At a summit in Malta, EU Council President Donald Tusk said that saving the EU’s Schengen rules on free movement was a “race against time”.EU has agreed on a €1.8bn (£1.3bn) fund to help Africa tackle “the root causes of irregular migration”.
But some African leaders have already criticised the sum being offered as insufficient.Some 150,000 people from African countries such as Eritrea, Nigeria and Somalia have crossed the Mediterranean from Africa this year, but this has been dwarfed by the arrival of some 650,000 people – mostly Syrians – via Turkey and Greece.Tensions in the EU have been rising because of the pressures faced by those countries where most migrants initially arrive, particularly Greece, Italy and Hungary. Many then head to Germany or Sweden – the two nations regarded as the most welcoming to refugees – to claim asylum.Sweden said the controls it had introduced will come into effect from midday local time on Thursday and will last initially for 10 days.Nearly 200,000 migrants are expected to arrive in Sweden this year, more per head of population than any other EU nation.
“This is not an issue for one or two or three countries – this is an issue for the whole European Union,” Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said at the Malta talks. “We need another system – that is obvious.”Mr Tusk said recent developments in Sweden, Germany, Slovenia and elsewhere had shown “with utmost clarity the huge pressure member states are facing”.