Before 2008, when Switzerland joined Schengen, a Europe-wide border-free zone, border checks were the norm.
Since then people moving in and out of Switzerland to one of the 26 Schengen countries, which include Germany and Switzerland, have not been subject to routine checks.
However, after an Eritrean man living in Switzerland allegedly pushed a boy and his mother in front of a train at Frankfurt train station killing the boy and injuring his mother, Horst Seehofer, Germany’s interior minister, said he wants to reintroduce border checks.
The man, who travelled from Switzerland to Germany, was wanted by Swiss police in connection with domestic violence.
“I will do everything possible to arrange intelligent controls at the border,” Seehofer told Der Spiegel, according to DW.
Some German politicians accused Seehofer of appealing to populist sentiment ahead of upcoming elections in three of Germany’s regions.
Benjamin Strasser, interior affairs spokesperson for the liberal Free Democrats, said that even with such controls, the man would not have been stopped because there was no European arrest warrant against him. In addition, random and targeted controls already take place along and inside Germany’s borders, said Strasser.