European MPs promise to fight member state governments on vote on powers to suspend Schengen
This blog post is written by UKREN Chair and Director of the Migrants’ Rights Network, Don Flynn. This piece also appears on the MRN website.
A session of the European Parliament meeting in Strasbourg last week has promised the Danish Presidency of the EU Council that it will fight its recent decision to grant member states the power to suspend Schengen arrangements and reintroduce border checks.
According to the European news website EuroActiv, speakers from most political groups slammed Danish presidency justice affairs representative, Morten Bødskov, for what they said was a direct attack on the EU's fundamental values.
MEPs claimed that the decision taken by justice and home affairs ministers on 7 June had changed the legal basis of the rules governing the evaluation of Schengen, removing rights for both the Parliament and Commission to exercise their supervisory role on the border-free area.
They pointed out that the evaluation procedure had produced two reports on Schengen's operation, the Weber report and the Coehlo report which the Parliament was due to consider and vote on in July.
EuroActiv reports that opinion polls show that 62% of EU citizens consider Schengen as the most positive outcome of 50 years of European integration, which made passport-free travel possible for over 400 million Europeans.
The leader of the Socialist and Democrats group in the Parliament, Hannes Swoboda, made it clear that MEPs will be prepared to go to the Court of Justice to obtain a ruling on the legality of the justice minister’s decision. They would, if necessary, also call on the European Commission to withdraw the proposal allowing Schengen to be suspended in the circumstances envisioned by government heads.