BRUSSELS – The Latest on xxxxxxx (all times local):
The European Union has decided with immediate effect to allow Austria, Germany, Denmark, Sweden and Norway to keep border controls in place for up to six months to deal with the migrant influx.
EU headquarters said in a statement Thursday that the controls should be "targeted and limited in scope, frequency, location and time, to what is strictly necessary to respond to the serious threat and to safeguard public policy and internal security."
It said the countries should inform each other of exactly where they plan to carry out the controls.
Germany reintroduced ID checks last year to cope with the arrival of hundreds of thousands of migrants.
Its legal avenues for keeping the controls in place were set to expire on Friday without this EU decision.
Germany's foreign minister says "the ball is in Turkey's court" as the Turkish government and the European Union face off over conditions for Turkish citizens to be granted visa-free travel to Europe.
The visa waiver is one of the incentives offered by the EU for Turkey to stop migrants leaving for Europe and take back those who do arrive. German Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier acknowledged Thursday "we have a strong interest in this agreement on migration not collapsing."
Turkey was given conditions to secure the visa waiver. The main obstacle is Ankara's refusal to narrow its definition of "terrorist" and "terrorist act" amid concerns that journalists and political dissenters could be targeted.
Steinmeier said: "If Turkey fulfills its commitments, then I would be for fulfilling our commitments and allowing visa liberalization."