Posted on 25.06.2011 in Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova, News, Russia, Ukraine

24.06.2011: Schengen countries allowed to reinstate internal border control

Countries in the EU’s Schengen open border zone will be able to temporarily reinstate internal border control to prevent an influx of migrants, EU leaders have agreed.

 

José Manuel Barroso and Herman van Rompuy

José Manuel Barroso and Herman van Rompuy, photo by the European Commission

 

At their Brussels summit on Friday, EU leaders asked the European Commission to revise the Schengen system so that countries could reintroduce border controls temporarily “in a truly critical situation”. The new mechanism will allow countries facing unusual migration pressures to escalate their border controls, “without jeopardising the principle of free movement of persons”. Conclusions issued after ther 23-24 June summit state that a safeguard clause could be introduced as the last resort, “to allow the exceptional reintroduction of internal border controls”. Such a move would be based on “a common [EU] assessment” and would be applicable for a strictly limited scope and period of time. The European Commission has been asked to present plans for the mechanism in September. Schengen requires the member states to apply uniform controls on the EU’s external borders. Most EU states are in Schengen, as are three non-EU countries: Iceland, Norway and Switzerland. Five EU countries remain outside: Bulgaria, Cyprus, the Irish Republic, Romania and the UK. Schengen currently allows for the temporary reimposition of border controls in special cases to ensure public order, and this clause has been used for example on the occasion of major sports events. But now Brussels wants such temporary measures to be spelled out clearly on an EU-wide level.

Source: BBC News