Two years of internal border controls will put one of EU's greatest achievements at risk, say S&D MEPs

Two years of internal border controls will put one of EU's greatest achievements at risk, say S&D MEPs, Gianni Pittella, Birgit Sippel, control checks and border queues, Schengen,

Speaking following the request from EU justice and home affairs ministers to allow the continuation of temporary border control measures for up to two years, S&D MEPs warned that the measure endangered one of the key achievements of the European Union.

President of the S&D Group in the European Parliament, Gianni Pittella said:

"The ability to travel freely around the majority of the Europe without being subject to control checks and border queues, is one of the most important and symbolic achievements of the European Union. The request today to extend temporary measures for periods up to two years brings that into question. Do we really believe that increasingly inward looking member states will be happy to take down these borders after this period has finished? Member states must stop thinking that there are national solutions to this crisis - we need a clear and co-ordinated European response if we are going to effectively resolve it."

Birgit Sippel, S&D spokesperson for civil liberties, justice and home affairs added:

"The extension of internal border controls could mean the beginning of end of the Schengen era. Member states must wake up and realise this will damage our democracies and economies and will further deteriorate the image of Europe around the globe. National ministers continue to bury their heads in the sand and fail to deal with the most urgent questions we are facing: How do we support the countries facing the brunt of the crisis? How can we share the responsibility for helping vulnerable people across member states? And how do we create a common and effective policy for the EU's external borders? These are the questions that we need answers for, not more inward looking and self-defeating measures."