The head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, said that between 2006 and 2014 the internal controls of individual borders in the Schengen area were only temporarily introduced 25 times.
The Schengen area is experiencing an acute migration and pandemic crisis, and since the beginning of 2015 border controls have been renewed 205 times at various borders within the Schengen area. This was announced on Monday by the head of the European Commission, Ursula von der Leyen, whose statement was published by the European Commission’s press office.
“From 2006 to 2014, for nine years, internal controls of individual borders [within the Schengen area] were temporarily introduced 25 times. However, since 2015, border controls have been introduced 205 times during the incomplete five years. This is a very significant increase. We need to understand its reasons and respond to them urgently,” she said.
To fight this crisis, von der Leyen called for three main areas of work. Firstly, to significantly increase controls at the external borders of Schengen in order to reduce the number of illegal border crossings. Secondly, police cooperation between the countries in the zone must be significantly expanded in order to monitor migration flows and combat cross-border crime. Thirdly, she called for better Schengen controls at the political level as well as clearer compliance by all EU countries.
“I am convinced that we must continue to develop the Schengen while maintaining its significant benefits,” said the Head of the European Commission.
In 2015, an acute migration crisis began in the EU. In the face of a strong migration flow, since September 2015, EU countries have been implementing border controls within the community one by one. And, in some cases, these measures were valid for up to one year, despite the fact that the deadline for the temporary resumption of border control in emergency circumstances, according to the Schengen Agreement, can not exceed 2 months. The second wave of total border closures began in March this year due to the coronavirus pandemic. This time, it was possible to open the borders by June, but with the second wave of the pandemic in Europe, the risks of new restrictions remain.