Saturday, September 17, 2011

European Commission unveils Schengen plans

“The European Commission today (16 September) adopted a proposal that would give it a stronger role in deciding whether members of the Schengen area of borderless travel can reimpose border checks in emergencies. Several member states, including France and Germany, have already voiced their opposition to the proposal.
Cecilia Malmström, the European commissioner for home affairs, said in Brussels today that decision-making on Schengen had to shift from an inter-governmental approach to a European approach if Schengen was to meet future challenges. She said that most weaknesses in the Schengen system stemmed from its inter-governmental character.
The Commission is seeking to establish its right to initiate emergency measures and to reduce the scope for unilateral action by member states. The re-introduction of border checks in emergencies is currently left to each member state.
Guy Verhofstadt, the leader of the Liberal group in the European Parliament, said that unilateral decisions to re-establish border checks should be limited “as much as possible”.

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