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Schengen: an historic step towards freedom of movement in Europe. Carlos Coelho MEP

Date

12 Jun 2013

Sections

Justice & Home Affairs

“This agreement protects citizens’ rights to move freely and reinforces their safety”, said Carlos Coelho MEP, after the adoption of his Report by a large majority at today’s plenary session of the European Parliament.

The structure of the Schengen Evaluation Mechanism will cease to be purely intergovernmental. Instead it will be a more EU-based system where the European Commission will act as a coordinator.

The new evaluation mechanism explicitly foresees the possibility of assessing whether illegal controls are taking place at internal borders. It also drops pre-booked border inspections and adds the option of checking border controls in loco without prior notification.

By adopting this system, the degree of compliance of the Schengen rules will be better evaluated and will create the possibility of enforcing an immediate corrective reaction designed to dissipate all feelings of impunity from any of the Member States.

Through this mechanism, the European Parliament reinforces its right to access information, which is enormous progress in terms of transparency.

It also eliminates the “double standards”, meaning that Schengen members and candidate countries will be evaluated exactly the same way and by the same rules.

“We have created a new evaluation mechanism which will be more EU-based, more transparent, efficient and rigorous”, concluded the Portuguese MEP.

The Schengen area is a free movement area involving 22 EU countries plus four other countries outside the EU (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) where around 400 million European citizens have the right to move freely.

There are still three EU members outside the Schengen Area that are legally bound to join (Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania) and two opt-outs (Ireland and the UK).

 

For further information:
Carlos COELHO MEP, STR - Phone: +33 (0)3 88 175551

Francisco Correia da Silva, EPP Group Press and Communications Service, Tel: +32-470-830567

 

Notes to Editors:
The EPP Group is by far the largest political group in the European Parliament with 269 Members and 3 Croatian Observer Members.

 

 

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