EU home affairs ministers have unanimously approved plans to reform the bloc’s passport free travel Schengen treaty.
The deal agreed in Luxembourg means temporary internal borders could be re-introduced in cases of excessive migration.
Denmark’s Justice Minister Morten Bødskov said: “The council has taken an important step to strengthen Schengen-cooperation. There is agreement on a new evaluation mechanism thanks to which we can secure and monitor compliance of Schengen’s rules.”
But the decision appears to have set national government’s on a collision course with MEPs. Many are now calling for legal action to block the agreed changes. Martin Schulz, the Parliament’s president also heavily criticised the EU Council’s move.
“It’s a provocation! In the middle of the legislative procedure, in which we have been working together, the European Council, which means national interior ministers, have changed the legal framework. They have the right to do this and have done so. However, the European parliament sees this as an unanimous demonstration of mistrust,’‘ Schulz said.
The European Commission’s home affairs chief Cecillia Malmstrom said she was disappointed with the decision to alter Schengen, but said there were no plans, as yet, to take legal steps.