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MEPs slam EU Council's Schengen reforms

brussels bureau

MEPs slam EU Council's Schengen reforms


Senior MEPs meeting in Strasbourg have heavily criticised a deal in the EU Council to reform Europe’s passport free travel Schengen treaty.

Deploring the decision and with some irony, centre-right leader Joseph Daul called on the parliament to stop working with Denmark’s EU presidency.

‘‘Last night I spoke on the phone to the Danish Prime Minister and told her as far as my Parliamentary Group was concerned the Danish EU presidency was over. This morning I wondered why the various ministers hadn’t put in place all visa controls between countries so that border checks would be even better,’‘ Daul said.

Many in Strasbourg are furious over the decision to exclude the parliament from any future say on the bloc’s borderless zone. So angry, MEPs reserved the right to bring legal action against the Council.

Daniel Cohn-Bendit, co-leader of the parliament’s green group, said: ‘‘This is war between the Council and Europe’s other institutions. I’ll say here it’s going to be violent. On the one hand the Commission is told to monitor budgets, it’s told it must do this and that, and that we need European Sovereignty. Then suddenly with Schengen, they say, ‘Oh no, this is for countries to decide’.’‘

Last week’s decision in Luxembourg by Europe’s interior ministers gives national governments more freedom to re-impose border controls inside the Schenghen area. At the same time it removes the EU parliament’s co-legislative role.

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