EU to review open border treaty
Laaska News June 25,2011
European Union leaders have agreed to review the EU’s passport-free zone to allow countries to impose checks at their borders in emergency cases.
The move is a response to the influx of migrants from politically unstable North Africa to Europe.
Since January, about 40,000 migrants have crossed the Mediterranean into Italy to flee the unrest in Libya and Tunisia. Many of them entered France, causing disputes over border controls among EU member nations.
At the EU summit in Brussels on Friday, the leaders agreed to partially review the Schengen border treaty governing free travel within Europe. The measure will allow countries to resume border controls temporarily when they face a greater number of migrants. Detailed conditions are yet to be determined.
Some, however, are warning against the move, saying the right to free travel is one of the EU’s key principles.
European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said the resumption of border controls is only a last resort and will not undermine the core Schengen principle of free movement, which he called a fundamental right of citizens.