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S&D: New Schengen rules will stop free movement from being used as a political football


05 Oct 2023


Global Europe
Today, the European Parliament confirmed its mandate on the revision of the Schengen Borders Code – the rules governing free movement in the EU. With the Socialists and Democrats leading the negotiations in the civil liberties, justice and home affairs committee, the introduction of internal border controls will only be possible under exceptional circumstances: the reasons must be justified and there is a strict time limit of a maximum duration of 18 months. As part of the Schengen reform, Parliament is introducing alternatives to border controls such as more police cooperation in border regions. With Parliament’s mandate approved, negotiations with the co-legislators in the Council can begin. 
Sylvie Guillaume, S&D MEP and European Parliament negotiator on the Schengen Borders Code, said:
“The ability to move freely from one country to another is so important for EU citizens. Free movement is one of the founding pillars of the European Union and the Schengen area is undoubtedly one of the EU’s most tangible achievements. With the reform of the Schengen Borders Code, Parliament wants to make sure that if EU governments have to introduce border checks in the Schengen area then they will only be able to do so as a last resort and according to strict criteria and strict deadlines.
Over the last few years, the reintroduction of border controls by some governments like Austria have demonstrated that, under the current rules, people’s freedom to move in the EU is at risk. With these new rules, we want to better protect the Schengen area from being used as a political football and to safeguard EU citizens’ right to free movement.”