Even though Greece has improved its record considerably since first being criticized by Brussels, there are still “some deficiencies” in its border management, European Commission spokeswoman Mina Andreeva said on Monday.
Seven members of Europe’s visa-free Schengen zone have introduced temporary border controls after more than a million migrants entered the European Union last year, mostly via Greece.
Countries that first resorted to internal border checks blamed Greece – Europe’s main point of entry for the refugees and migrants fleeing wars and poverty in the Middle East and Africa – for not controlling its part of Schengen’s external border well enough.
The Commission launched a procedure against Greece on that basis, which allows it to approve a further extension of the temporary border checks other countries have introduced.
Struggling to prevent the collapse of the Schengen accord, authorities in Brussels are expected this month to allow EU member states to retain the emergency border checks, which are due to expire in May, for a while longer.
Andreeva said the Commission should “by May 12 at the latest have a decision ready which would allow (us) to prolong internal border controls under the Schengen Borders Code.
“We have a decision on this ready for next Wednesday,” she told a daily news briefing.