Today, MEPs have voted in favour of entering into negotiations with the Council and the European Commission on the rules applicable to temporary border controls inside the Schengen area. EU governments such as France, Germany and Sweden have all introduced internal border controls and overstretched the maximum periods laid down in the Schengen Borders Code.
The European Commission wants to allow extensions for more than two years. A progressive majority of MEPs voted in favour of allowing border controls in exceptional cases and limiting them to a maximum of one year in the event of persistent threats to security.
Bodil Valero, shadow rapporteur on temporary Schengen border controls file, comments:
"We can't allow Schengen border controls to become the new normal. Long queues at the borders between EU countries completely counters the freedom of movement, a fundamental right of EU citizens. Border controls in the Schengen area must remain the absolute exception and strictly limited in time; anyone wishing to introduce them must present a risk assessment and explain why alternatives are not sufficient. The EU must stand up for the right of citizens to free movement"
"The European Commission must stand up to countries such as France, Germany and Sweden, which have extended their border controls for years despite the lack of reasons to prolong them further."