Austria’s clampdown on border crossings threatens free travel zone

World Today

A girl reacts as members of the Greek coast guard remove her life jacket as migrants and refugees arrive at the port Lesbos after crossing the Aegean sea from Turkey on February 20, 2016. Austria introduced a daily cap on asylum-seekers, sparking EU fears of a domino effect along the Balkan migrant trail and a threat from Greece to veto an accord keeping Britain in the bloc. AFP / ARIS MESSINIS

Austria’s recent decision to cap the transit of refugees and migrants at 3,200 a day sent ripples through the Balkans. Numerous plans have been suggested by European Union and Balkan countries in an effort to stop the flow of people.

CCTV’s Natalie Carney reports the move now raises questions about the future of the EU’s free travel zone.

Follow Natalie Carney on Twitter @NatalieCarney77

Austria's clampdown on border crossings threatens free travel zone

Austria's decision this week to cap the transit of refugees and migrants at 3,200 a day sent ripples through the Balkans. Numerous plans have been suggested by European Union and Balkan countries in an effort to stop the flow of people. CCTV's Natalie Carney reports the move now raises questions about the future of the EU's free travel zone.

The refugee crisis may be the biggest challenge the European Union has ever faced. It’s also placing pressure on the union’s passport-free travel, known as the Schengen zone, an arrangement that has been in place for more than 20 years.

With thousands of refugees and migrants arriving in Greece and then through to the EU, Brussels has given Athens three months to fix its border controls or face suspension from the Schengen zone.

This has left Slovenia at the forefront of the 26-country open travel area.

Austria’s move to cap the number of refugees and asylum seekers was questioned by Germany, which said it undermined attempts by EU nations to come up with a unified approach.