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MEPs approve new rules to strengthen free movement


24 Apr 2024



Today, the European Parliament has approved new rules governing free movement within the Schengen Area. S&D MEP Sylvie Guillaume led the revision of the Schengen Borders Code that will strengthen the Schengen Area by better protecting free movement for EU citizens. For example, in the future, internal border controls will only be possible under exceptional circumstances and for clearly limited periods of time.

The new rules, approved in the last plenary of this legislative mandate, also set out a minimum harmonisation of border controls so that free movement is no longer the victim of a patchwork of different national responses across the EU in the event of future large-scale public-health emergencies.

Sylvie Guillaume, S&D MEP and European Parliament’s lead negotiator on the revision of the Schengen Borders Code, said:

“The Schengen Area is one of our most cherished achievements, at the very heart of the EU project, allowing unrestricted travel for more than 400 million people. With this agreement, we have protected the free movement of people while responding to the challenges that the Schengen Area has faced over the last ten years. 

“We have insisted on clear and limited timelines for internal border controls, criteria for member states to follow if they want to reintroduce internal border controls, and we have laid down harmonised procedures to be applied at external borders in cases of future pandemics. With a ‘last resort’ approach to the reintroduction of internal borders, the Schengen Area will no longer be a political football for national governments to use to disrupt free movement.”


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