Eurocrats are set to allow nation states to impose border checks
It comes as mainland European nations have been targeted in a spate of terror attacks over the course of the past 18 months. Some of the deadliest attacks happened in major cities across the EU, notably Paris, Berlin and Nice.
The terrorist threat and the effectiveness of the border controls demonstrate the need to review the Schengen Borders Code
German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere and French counterpart Bruno Le Roux wrote a joint letter to the Vice President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, as well as EU Home Affairs and Security Commissioners Dimitris Avramopoulos and Julian King, respectively.
The letter read: “The persistence of the terrorist threat and the effectiveness of the currently [reinstated] border controls at [the EU’s] internal borders demonstrate the need to review the Schengen Borders Code… in the event of a serious threat to the public order or internal security.”
Both de Maiziere and Le Roux said member states should be able to reinstate border controls for “longer periods than those currently foreseen”, as well as having the ability to “relax” the rights of nations to impose national border check inside their respective nations.
France has been a major victim of terror attacks in the past 18 months
Under the current Schengen regulations, EU nations are only allowed to reimpose national border checks for no longer than two years in the face of what is deemed a serious security concern.
France has been allowed to reestablish border checks until mid-July after a series of deadly terror attacks throughout the country.
Berlin has also announced plans to impose temporary border controls due to the Christmas market attack which left 12 dead and more than 50 others injured.
The letter also pleads for closer cooperation and data sharing between EU states to track suspected terror targets who have abused the Schengen agreement and moved between European states.
'MERKEL MUST GO': Brussels protest against German Chancellor Tue, February 14, 2017
Angry campaigners held placards with slogans reading 'Merkel not welcomed' and 'Merkel must go' following a spate of terror attacks against Germany.
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Protest on the sidelines of Angela Merkel's official visit in Brussels
German interior minister Thomas de Maiziere penned the letter to Eurocrats
Anis Amri, the driver who ploughed a truck into the Berlin Christmas market, moved between Germany, France and Italy before finally being fatally shot.
EU Home Affairs commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said the proposals were “in line” with the bloc’s approach to the matter.
An EU statement read: “Security and freedom are two sides of the same coin. Instead of relying on catchy populist slogans, we should continue, and deepen, the ongoing work on internal security to better protect European citizens.”
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