EPP: Schengen needs strong external borders to be effective

“In times of crisis, we have seen that there are certain aspects of Schengen that must be improved, and introducing new safeguards while allowing Member States the possibility to introduce longer temporary internal border controls as an extraordinary measure in exceptional circumstances is one way to address some outstanding issues. The way forward is through common EU solutions. This is also what the new European Commission proposal aims for”, said Roberta Metsola MEP, the EPP Group Spokeswoman in the European Parliament’s Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, commenting on new legislation on temporary controls on internal Schengen borders.

Both Roberta Metsola and Carlos Coelho MEP, the Rapporteur on the Schengen Information System, welcome the introduction of strict safeguards and the EU-level coordination as a prerequisite for Schengen to live up to its purpose when faced with today’s challenges.

“The Schengen Zone is more than just a political project – it is an idea that has at its core the bringing together of peoples in the security that by pooling our resources, we are stronger. It is essential politically, economically and socially and has become almost indivisible from the very concept of Europe as we know it today. It is our responsibility to ensure that the Schengen Zone functions as it should and that citizens retain their confidence in it“, said Metsola.

Carlos Coelho added: “Recent crises have placed the area of free movement under pressure, leading to the reintroduction of controls at the internal borders in several Member States and for a long period. This ends today. We are bringing Schengen back to Europeans.” However, the MEPs warned that completing the Schengen governance framework cannot be effective without strong external borders.

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