Tag Archives: Internal Community frontier

Strengthening the Schengen area

Strengthening the Schengen area

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Strengthening the Schengen area

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Justice freedom and security > Free movement of persons asylum and immigration

Strengthening the Schengen area

Document or Iniciative

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 16 September 2011 — Schengen governance — strengthening the area without internal border control [COM(2011) 561 final – Not published in the Official Journal].

Summary

The revolutions which took place in the southern Mediterranean in the spring of 2011 led to a significant influx of immigrants into some European Union (EU) Member States. These events highlighted the need to make the Schengen area (the EU territory in which the free movement of persons is exercised) better able to react to exceptional situations.

It is clear that the external borders of Europe must be managed in an efficient and consistent manner, on the basis of joint responsibility, solidarity and greater practical cooperation.

Strengthening the management of the Schengen area

Some measures already exist to help Member States facing critical situations and to enable them to fulfil their commitments. In particular, they can obtain financial and practical support through EU funds and can address the European Asylum Support Office or the Frontex Agency which can deploy Rapid Border Intervention Teams to external borders.

Furthermore, the Commission has proposed to strengthen the Schengen evaluation mechanism. This mechanism will monitor EU countries to ensure that they apply the Schengen area rules correctly. According to the new proposed approach, monitoring will be carried out at European level through inspections conducted by Commission and Member State teams. These inspections will result in a report containing the measures to be taken by the country concerned. A follow-up procedure will be put in place to ensure that the recommendations are implemented.

Furthermore, the Commission will present a biannual overview on the functioning of the Schengen area. This overview will provide the basis for a strengthening of cooperation in the Schengen area and will increase mutual trust between Member States, which are jointly responsible for ensuring that all the Schengen rules are actually applied.

Specific support measures are proposed for cases where the evaluation of a Member State reveals serious shortcomings with regard to controls at external borders or the procedure for returning migrants to their country of origin. If the shortcomings are not dealt with, and as a last resort, a European mechanism is proposed which aims to temporarily re-introduce internal border controls.

Putting in place a European mechanism in exceptional circumstances

The Schengen Borders Code already provides the option for a Member State to re-introduce controls at its internal borders where there is a serious threat to public policy or internal security. However, this only relates to a decision taken at national level.

However, the human and economic consequences of such a decision, which affects all the people living in the Schengen area, are not limited to the Member State concerned. In order for the interests of the whole of the Union to be taken into account, the Commission proposes to establish a European mechanism which would enable the decision to be taken by the EU rather than unilaterally by one Member State.

The decision to re-introduce the internal border controls of a Member State will be taken by the Commission for renewable periods of 30 days and, in principle, for a maximum duration of 6 months. It must be a measure of last resort where all other measures have been ineffective. The decision will be taken only when a Member State is confronted by a serious threat to public policy or internal security. It may also concern:

  • a short-term and largely localised situation (for example, major sporting events, high-profile political meetings or terrorist attacks);
  • a situation with wider and longer-term implications, particularly in the case of serious border failure of a Member State at its external borders.

However, in emergencies, EU countries will retain the option to unilaterally re-introduce controls at their internal borders for a limited period of 5 days.

However, in the case of controls being re-introduced, the country or countries concerned must guarantee European citizens or third-country nationals residing legally in the Schengen area the right to move and live freely on EU territory. The latter may therefore still enter the territory of another Member State simply by presenting their passport, identity card or travel document.

RELATED ACTS

Proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2011 amending Regulation (EC) No 562/2006 in order to provide for common rules on the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders in exceptional circumstances [COM(2011) 560 final — Not published in the Official Journal].

Amended proposal for a Regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council of 16 September 2011 on the establishment of an evaluation and monitoring mechanism to verify the application of the Schengen acquis [COM(2011) 559 final — Not published in the Official Journal].

Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions of 4 May 2011 — Communication on migration [COM(2011) 248 final — Not published in the Official Journal].

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Outline of the Community (European Union) legislation about Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Topics

These categories group together and put in context the legislative and non-legislative initiatives which deal with the same topic.

Customs

Elimination of controls at frontiers in road and inland waterway transport

Document or Iniciative

Regulation (EC) No 1100/2008 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 October 2008 on the elimination of controls performed at the frontiers of Member States in the field of road and inland waterway transport (Text with EEA relevance).

Summary

This regulation eliminates frontier * controls * on road vehicles and inland waterway vessels travelling between European Union (EU) countries. Checks, inspections, verifications or formalities must no longer be performed as border controls within the EU, but simply as part of the normal control procedures applied in a non-discriminatory manner throughout the territory of an EU country.

The controls concerned are referred to in Annex I of this regulation. The Commission may propose amendments to this annex to take account of relevant technological developments. The annex refers to both EU and national legislation which provide for controls and inspections, including:

  • checks on the maximum authorised weights and dimensions of road vehicles;
  • checks on documentation showing roadworthiness of motor vehicles and their trailers;
  • inspections to verify that technical requirements for inland waterway vessels are fulfilled;
  • inspections of passenger lists on bus and coach services;
  • driving licence checks;
  • controls relating to the means of transport for dangerous goods;
  • controls relating to the means of transport for perishable foodstuffs.
Key terms used in the act
  • Frontier: either an internal frontier within the EU or an external frontier, where carriage between EU countries involves crossing a non-EU country.
  • Control: any check, inspection, verification or formality performed at the frontiers of EU countries by the national authorities which signifies a stop or a restriction on the free movement of the vehicles or vessels concerned.

References

Act Entry into force Deadline for transposition in the Member States Official Journal
Regulation (EC) No 1100/2008

4.12.2008

OJ L 304 of 14.11.2008