Ensuring Schengen by strengthening police cooperation / 09-03-2012
The Union's area of free movement has come under pressure from growing public scepticism and an increased sense of insecurity. This has raised the question whether the EU has done enough to develop a common European security area in parallel with free movement. In response to this concern Jan Mulder (VVD, Netherlands) and Jens Rohde (Venstre, Denmark) hosted today an ALDE seminar to evaluate concrete proposals with representatives from the European Commission, Europol and experts in the field.
MEP Rohde said: "There is a clear need to increase the understanding of the benefits that free movement creates for Europe and its citizens, while addressing the challenges that involves. Indeed, one of the most worrying challenges is cross-border-crime and the knee-jerk response of re-introducing border controls by Member States to solve the problem".
"Of course, imposing controls and closing every inch of our borders is wrong and impossible but there can be no democracy and no community when the trust in the rule of law is undermined. Therefore we need a strengthening of our legislation in police cooperation", he concluded.
The Commission will present at the end of 2012 a communication and recommendations on the EU information exchange system between Member States' police forces followed in 2014 with further proposals on police cooperation.
MEP Mulder said: "We need to better use, link and coordinate the European tools already at our disposal, such as the Schengen information System, Europol and Eurojust". Moreover, he concluded: "A European Public prosecutor's office should be established, initially dealing with financial fraud and then ideally through the extension of its remit to serious cross border crime".
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