Norway to continue with military border guards

Norwegian Border Guard. Photo: Grensekom.no

Norwegian Border Guard. Photo: Grensekom.no

Despite EU’s Schengen recommendations, Norway wants to continue with military conscripts to guard the border to Russia, writes the Barents Observer.

EU’s Schengen recommendations and best practices guidelines for external borders control says the border guard force should be specially trained professionals. A Norwegian Official Report presented this week strongly recommend continuing with military conscripts as guards on the border to Russia.

The report from the Government Commission was presented to the Norwegian Ministry Justice and the Police earlier this week. The Commission’s mandate was to elaborate the juridical aspects of Norway’s civilian border surveillance.

In 2005-2006 EU made a Schengen evaluation of Norway’s external borders control.  The evaluation concluded that Norway’s use of military personnel to control its border to Russia is not in accordance with Schengen’s recommended standards.

Since 1959, the garrison in Sør-Varanger (GSV) has assisted the police with the border guards and surveillance. The personnel along Norway’s 196 kilometer long border to Russia are mainly conscripts. But still, it’s the police who have the juridical responsibility and initiate criminal prosecution of all violation of the border law. The border passing post, with passport control is also a police matter.

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