- extracts from the Joint debate
EPRef93923 // European Parliament , Strasbourg, EP Plenary session - Hemicycle //
Lieu: European Parliament, Strasbourg
End production: 11/06/2013 First transmission: 11/06/2013
MEPs debated over the reform package which would empower Schengen compliance inspectors to pay unannounced visits to prevent illegal border checks by national authorities at internal borders. Free movement is the most positive outcome of 50 years of EU integration, 62% of respondents told a recent Eurobarometer survey. The "Schengen governance package" comprises two regulations, informally agreed by Parliament and Council negotiators on 29 May. One regulation, establishing a new mechanism for evaluating compliance, would, for the first time, allow inspection teams to make unannounced visits to prevent illegal checks at internal borders. The other regulation, amending the Schengen Borders Code, would allow member states to re-impose border checks only as a "measure of last resort, for a strictly limited scope and period of time, based on specific objective criteria and on an assessment of its necessity, which should be monitored at Union level". The vote over the reform package is due to take place on Wednesday.
Only the original language version is authentic and it prevails in the event of its differing from the translated versions.
||Exterior of the European Parliament, Strasbourg
||General view of the Chamber
||SOUNDBITE (Portuguese) Carlos COELHO, Rapporteur,( EPP, PT), "We have reached an agreement on the Schengen governance package. The agreement is not exactly what the EP wanted because our legitimate demand for co decision was denied us but it is an agreement which constitutes a substantial progress in relation to the current rules strengthening Schengen governance. This agreement will protect our citizens' rights to move freely while strengthening the conditions in which they do so."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Renate WEBER, Rapporteur, (ALDE, RO),"The text on the Schengen border code on which I am the Rapporteur sets clear rules and checks and balances for the situation of the last resort on reintroduction of border controls at the internal borders to avoid any misuse or abuse."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Renate WEBER, Rapporteur, (ALDE, RO),"It is fair to say that we succeeded to introduce some community dimension and additional guaranties ensuring that the mechanism would not be misused ."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Renate WEBER, Rapporteur, (ALDE, RO),"A new possibility to reintroduce border control, which was in fact the request or better said the demand of the Council addressed to the Commission two years ago, will be only as a last resort in exceptional circumstances as a result of persistent serious deficiencies related to external border control, but that in that case the proposal will come from the Commission after thorough evaluation."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Renate WEBER, Rapporteur, (ALDE, RO),"Migration and crossing of external borders by a large of third countries nationals should not per say be considered to be a threat to public policy or to internal security."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Renate WEBER, Rapporteur, (ALDE, RO),"The total period during border control is reintroduced on the basis of serious threat to public policy or internal security can not exceed two months. The Commission shall present to the EP and the Council at least annually a report on the functioning of the area without internal border controls.
||SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON, EU Council Presidency, "The agreement responds fully to the request form the EU Council in June 2011 for the existing evaluation mechanism to be improved and deepened and for the introduction of a mechanism to respond to exceptional circumstances."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON, EU Council Presidency, "The EU Council is equally clear that this should not jeopardize the principle of free movement of persons."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON, EU Council Presidency," Free movement is highly valued and is a daily reality for the 500 million citizens within the EU as well as nationals of third countries who are legally present on the Schengen area as residents or visitors
||SOUNDBITE (English) Lucinda CREIGHTON, EU Council Presidency," The overall agreement also comprises a joint declaration of the EP, the Commission and Council which makes it clear that any future proposals from the Commission for amending the Schengen evaluation system will be submitted to the EP for consultative purposes so that your opinion can be taken into account to the fullest extend possible before the adoption of a final text."
||SOUNDBITE (English) Cecilia MALMSTRÖM, European Commission, "In the new system the Commission is given a central and coordinated role. Evaluation will be carried out by the Commission together with experts of the member states. In case serious deficiencies would emerge, the proposed new mechanism provides that specific measures can be taken like for instance deployment of FROTNEX European border guards' teams"
||Cutaways (5 shots)