As a result of the growing number of refugees coming from Ukraine, the Swedish Government has seen it necessary to re-establish identity checks on buses, trains and passenger ships for entry into its territory through a new temporary act.
If approved, the temporary Act would allow the Government to introduce identity checks for travel by bus, train or passenger ship to Sweden from abroad for the purpose of law enforcement and national security, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
In a press release issued on March 15, the Minister for Infrastructure Tomas Eneroth said that the Government must be prepared with the necessary means to take in people who come to Sweden continuously.
“The Government assesses that the situation may become so serious that it might be necessary to take immediate measures to maintain law and order and safeguard national security,” the press release also reads.
According to the Swedish Government, the Act is proposed to be effective for a period of three years from the entry into force. The same will enable the Government to adopt a guideline on identity checks with a maximum validity of six months.
Back in 2015, Sweden had adopted the same Act in order to perform identity checks at the internal borders during the refugee crisis. Yet, the Act was temporary and is no longer applicable.
That is why the Ministry of Infrastructure will propose a new interim act with relevant provisions.
“The Government understands that reintroduction of ID checks affects the individual traveller and commuter. Therefore, these checks mustn’t be used to a greater extent or longer than necessary,” Minister Eneroth pointed out.
In order to offer the help they need, the EU has decided to activate the temporary protection directive that enables Ukrainian refugees to take temporary protection in the EU countries, including here in Sweden.
Responding to the current situation, the Temporary Protection Directive provides protection and immediate rights, reducing pressure on national asylum systems and increasing solidarity and sharing responsibilities.
Data show that since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, more than three million people have fled from the warzone.
According to the Sweden Migration Agency, from February 24 to March 10, the number of Ukrainian citizens who applied for protection was almost 5,290. Whereas on March 14, the agency registered around 1,049 people coming from Ukraine.
The Sweden Migration Agency has also estimated that 27,000 people will come to Sweden in March-June, while the highest puts this number at 212,000.