EC to Propose Reintroduction of Schengen Border Control

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | May 4, 2011, Wednesday // 13:21
Bulgaria: EC to Propose Reintroduction of Schengen Border Control

The European Commission is expected to announce a proposal Wednesday for the temporary reimposing of border controls within the Schengen Agreement.

The move follows demands on behalf of France and Italy, which were a result of the recent vast influx of North African migrants in Italy.

Other measures expected to be proposed are completion of the Common European Asylum System, more targeted legal migration, exchange of best practices for successful integration of migrants, and a strategic approach for relations with third countries on migration.

Last week Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy held talks in Rome that ended with a request to European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso for changes to Schengen.

The temporary measure will be taken if a Schengen state whose borders are external for Schengen experiences difficulties, Cecilia Malmstrom, EU Commissioner for Internal Affairs, explained.

"The free movement of people across European borders is a major achievement which must not be reversed, but rather strengthened. That is why the Commission has already proposed a better evaluation mechanism to ensure that the external borders are effectively controlled. To safeguard the stability of the Schengen area, it may also be necessary to foresee the temporary re-introduction of limited internal border controls under very exceptional circumstances, such as where a part of the external border comes under heavy unexpected pressure", Malmstrom noted.

This information comes just one day after he Working Group on Schengen Matters (Sch-Eval) at the Council of EU has unanimously approved the report on Bulgaria's technical preparedness to join the borderless zone.

The decision brings to a final conclusion the technical stage of the assessment of Bulgaria. The next step is to reach the unanimous political approval of the EU ministers of interior and foreign affairs.

Should Bulgaria enter the Schengen Agreement it will constitute a part of its external border.

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Tags: Schengen Agreement, border control, migrants, external border, Italy, France
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