Disputed borders

Member states want to be able to impose checks at internal Schengen borders in an emergency, without the need to consult MEPs and the European Commission. The idea has not gone down well.

The European Union’s home- affairs ministers have provoked a confrontation with the European Parliament and the European Commission over decision-making on the Schengen area of borderless travel. It is a dispute that seems destined to be argued over at the European Court of Justice (ECJ) because MEPs and the Commission accuse the member states of seeking to re-nationalise decision-making on Schengen.

The dispute is about the circumst-ances under which a national government could re-impose border controls inside the Schengen zone – as France threatened in 2011, when it saw refugees coming into Italy from the north African coast.

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