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Europe border controls row brewing


brussels bureau

Europe border controls row brewing

A row is brewing in Brussels over how members of the Schengen zone should be able to reintroduce border controls.

The European Commission’s planned reform would require that any state resuming its border controls for more than five days would need the Commission’s permission to continue.

Yves Pascouau, Policy Analyst at EPC said: “There are many reasons for this proposed change to the law. It’s at the initiative of France and Italy after the arrival of a large number of migrants from Tunisia. And it’s a kind of request from the member states, to which the European Commission was obviously sensitive, and it was a request from the European Council which asked the Commission to present in September a proposition to change the Schengen rules on the re-establishment of frontier controls.”

With the Arab spring fresh in their minds, several EU states have rejected the Commission’s proposals in advance.

Germany, France and Spain say security issues such as borders should be controlled by national governments.

Michele Cercone, Commission spokesman said: “Our propositions are made to strengthen the Schengen zone and to be sure that a decision mechanism on the European level can protect this collective good of freedom of movement without border controls.”

The one point of agreement is that Schengen needs reform as EU states try to tackle crime and illegal immigration.

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