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Long story short: the officer first checked my passport, then asked me where I was coming from. I replied that he had no right to ask such question and that me not answering wouldn't be a valid reason to deny my entry. He then asked to check my boarding pass and I gave in because I didn't want to make the people behind me wait for us to have an argument.

My question is: did the officer have the right to ask where I was coming from and (even worse) to present a boarding pass? His excuse was "they changed the law last week and now we are vetting EU citizens from non-Schengen countries".

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    The officer probably did have a right to ask. But, I'll defer to someone more expert in European immigration laws. Frequently an officer has a right to ask pretty much any question at a border, even if by itself it isn't grounds for denying entry, to reveal demeanor when asked a normally innocuous question which can reveal a need to be suspicious even if the question asked itself wouldn't be used to deny entry. – ohwilleke Jan 11 '18 at 14:23
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In many european countries, officers can ask you where you are heading to (if Malta is only a stop, for instance) and where you are from. The fact that you are an EU citizen does not change anything, really. The police forces generally have increased powers at international travel areas such as airports & train stations (as well as a few kilometers away from these places), in order to effectively fulfill their tasks in terms of national security and immigration, regardless of your nationality (even if you are a citizen of the EU state in question).

If it would have probably not resulted in denying you entry, not answering would have most probably make you lose your time, as they would have probably asked you to step aside while they make a few research on your identity and reasons of visit.

Ironically, his justification doesn't seem right, nevertheless.

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