The European Parliament today adopted legislative agreements on two key files related to the EU’s Schengen border-free system, one on the reintroduction of border controls and one on the evaluation of Schengen. Commenting after the vote Greens/EFA border policy spokesperson Tatjana Ždanoka said:
"The EP has today endorsed what amounts to a scaling-back of the EU's Schengen border free system. After having originally strongly protested against the plans, the EP back-down is a major blow for this core EU policy and reflects poorly on the European Parliament and its credibility."
On the proposals on the reintroduction of border controls under Schengen, Tatjana Ždanoka continued:
“EU member states will retain final say over the reintroduction of border controls. This outcome is clearly at odds with the integrity of Schengen and flies in the face of the transnational nature of the border-free system. It is logical and essential that decisions to temporarily reintroduce border controls be subject to EU-level approval and not left up to the narrow-minded, national whims of individual member states, but this will not be the case after Parliament gave in to the demands of EU governments."
Commenting on agreement on legislation regarding the evaluation of the application of Schengen, Tatjana Ždanoka added:
"While the new provisions providing for EU-level evaluation of Schengen are a positive, the agreement to change the legal base of the system with a view to excluding the European Parliament is nothing short of a scandal. The democratically-elected parliament should clearly have an equal role in evaluating such a core EU policy and the failure to ensure this is a blow to the EU's democratic process.”