France Proposes To Reform Schengen Area
France plans to initiate reform of the Schengen zone after it takes over the presidency of the EU Council for six months in January 2022. This was announced by French President Emmanuel Macron, according to French TV channel BFM TV.
The French leader explained that this would help Europe protect its external borders and avoid migration crises. According to him, a separate organisation should be created to manage the Schengen zone.
He also proposed holding regular meetings of ministers and creating an « emergency border protection mechanism » involving gendarmes or police. In addition, unified rules should be agreed on managing migrant flows and granting asylum to avoid « games leading to a lack of cooperation » between Schengen member states.
Macron noted that the possibility of free movement within the Schengen zone was based on the promise of external border protection, which is now inadequately contained.
The French president also stressed the need to organise defence more carefully and shape the concept of European strategic sovereignty to deal with « common threats », BFM TV points out.
European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen proposed adjustments to the Schengen agreement in September following the deterioration of the illegal migration situation. The bloc will not tolerate the « hybrid attack to destabilize Europe, » she stressed, blaming Minsk for the situation. The EC head urged to speed up work on the new migration pact, which was presented back in 2020, but work on it has been extremely slow. Belarus denies the accusations.