Schengen under pressure after terror attacks

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By Euronews
Schengen under pressure after terror attacks

Random checks on the French-German border.

This could become a more common sight after the bloodshed in Paris two weeks ago.

France wants tighter controls across the Schengen zone, a passport free travel area of 22 EU and 4 non-EU countries.

Paris also wants existing law enforcement databases to be used more.

One of them is the Schengen Information System, which allows police forces to share data.

“All I can say that in 2014, there were some two billion requests made on this system. So I am a bit sceptical when people say the system is not used,” said Bernard Kirch, head of operation at the Schengen Information System.

At present only, only non-EU citizens are systematically checked when they enter the Schengen zone.

To introduce systematic controls on all citizens, the Schengen rules should be modified, says euronews’s Margherita Sforza.

The European Commission should present a proposal by the end of the year, she reports.

A plan to collate and share air passenger data, known as the Passenger Name Record, was revived after the Charlie Hebdo attacks.

British Conservative MEP Timothy Kirkhope is steering the draft legislation through parliament.

He says it needs to include internal EU flights to be effective.

The so-called PNR system was scotched by MEPs in 2013 on civil liberties grounds.

The United States enacted similar legislation after September the 11th in 2001.