Thursday, May 5, 2011

EU debating whether to reinstate the borders before the arrival of immigrants

Brussels .- The European Commission (EC) today introduced a set of proposals to improve the functioning of the Schengen agreement, which include the ability to reintroduce border controls between member states to deal with situations like the arrival of a wave of illegal immigrants. The ideas are part of a communication on immigration adopted by the College of Commissioners and will serve as a basis for discussion among EU countries.

"To safeguard the stability of the Schengen area will examine the possibility of temporarily reintroducing checks at internal borders limited, in very exceptional circumstances," said European Commissioner for Internal Affairs, Cecilia Malmstrom, the presentation of the measures. The reintroduction of controls could be applied "when a portion of the external border face a sudden heavy pressure, as has happened in the Italian island of Lampedusa in recent months, which have reached more than 25,000 immigrants after the popular revolts in North Africa.

The commissioner said the reintroduction of controls are discussed in the context of a suspension mechanism which could be triggered when a country fails to control its external borders. "The Schengen area is a fantastic achievement, we must protect and defend," said the curator, who insisted that would clearly define the circumstances in which they could proceed to the temporary suspension of a Europe without borders.

The document, a "catalog for further action," poses on the other side to complete by 2012 the common European asylum system, strengthen the role of border control agency Frontex and improve the agreements with the countries of origin immigration. From these proposals, the Commission hopes that heads of State or Government of the Twenty begin to shape future initiatives on migration issues at the European Summit of June 24.

As a first step, the interior ministers of the Union address the issue at an extraordinary meeting held on 12 May. Malmstrom said that the problems generated by the arrival on European soil of thousands of immigrants from North Africa has shown that "the EU needs a strong common policy on asylum and immigration." Although some Member States are more likely than others to the massive influx of illegal immigrants "the situation can not be managed only nationally, but requires the mobilization of all EU countries." The submission also calls for immigration policies that are more "focused" to facilitate the arrival in the Twenty-seven people are needed in the labor market and the exchange of practices between countries to promote integration.

The Commission has also announced that next May 24 presented a set of measures on immigration, which will address the control of borders and the Schengen governance, relations with the countries of the southern Mediterranean and asylum policies and integration.

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