The European Parliament today backed proposals to update the rules governing the EU’s Schengen border free travel zone. An attempt by the supposedly pro-European EPP Group to add amendments that would have allowed permanent internal border controls fortunately failed.
S&D Group vice-president and Parliament negotiator for the revision of the Schengen border code, Tanja Fajon said:
"The EPP is increasingly turning into a nasty, insular and nationalist group. While it still presents itself as pro-European its actions and voting record say otherwise. Fortunately, a large majority of the European Parliament today rejected their inward looking proposals and sent a clear signal of support for the Schengen area. The ability for people to move freely around Europe without being subject to border checks or controls is one of the great successes of the European Union. It is a clear representation of how we are bringing down barriers between the peoples of Europe. It also boosts our economies, by allowing truly frictionless trade between countries.
“This report makes clear that the temporary border controls that have been reintroduced by six EU countries at the height of the refugee crisis are no longer justified and should be removed as soon as possible. The controls are in clear violation of EU law and should be abolished as soon as possible.
“The continued presence of these temporary measures, show why we need new rules governing the operation of the Schengen area. In the future, any temporary measures should be strictly time limited and used solely for the purpose they were originally introduced for. Over the last few years, national governments have pushed the limits of the current rules, extending controls for political purposes rather than out of necessity. The data is clear, this does not improve our security, all it does is damage our economies and makes our lives less convenient."