Schengen Area: Temporary reintroduction of border control only in exceptional circumstances / 26-04-2012
The Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs of the European Parliament today adopted a Report which will allow Member States to temporarily reintroduce controls at internal borders, but only in exceptional cases.
"We can only accept the creation of a new possibility for the reintroduction of border controls as a last resort measure and as a consequence of an efficient and transparent evaluation process. It is not possible to accept one without the other!", said Carlos Coelho MEP, EPP Group Member responsible for this dossier and Schengen Rapporteur of the European Parliament.
After France unprecedentedly restored border controls with Italy last year, following Italy's grant of temporary visas to African migrants, the European Council asked the Commission to present a safeguarding mechanism to respond to "exceptional circumstances" of serious threats to public policy or internal security.
Carlos Coelho said: "Changes should be made in order to improve the current functioning of Schengen. The European Commission should have a new role in terms of the monitoring of the correct implementation and application of the Schengen acquis and in the case that serious deficiencies are detected in one Member State, it should also be responsible for the follow-up procedure, ensuring a rapid and appropriate response, by offering the necessary support to the Member State in question. For the moment, there is no monitoring or even any sense of obligation for the Member States to solve their deficiencies."
"This possibility to introduce limited border controls should only be allowed in exceptional cases and as a last resort. We need to reinforce Schengen, helping to ensure that each Member State can effectively control its part of the EU's external borders and to reinforce mutual trust. But that cannot be done at the expense of the freedom of movement and rights of our citizens!", concluded the Portuguese MEP.
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