The first ever Schengen Forum, convened on November 30 by the Commission, allowed for constructive exchanges towards building a stronger and more resilient Schengen area. Members of the European Parliament and Home Affairs Ministers met via videoconference committed to foster better cooperation, political dialogue and rebuild trust.
Commissioner for Home Affairs, Ylva Johansson, said: “The coronavirus pandemic has shown how much we need Schengen. Moving freely within the EU is a daily necessity for millions of Europeans for work or school for instance. It's also crucial for companies transporting goods around Europe. Schengen can be our lifeline when it comes to Europe's economic recovery post-coronavirus. That is why our discussions today on building a more resilient Schengen are so important.”
Participants of the forum focused on:
The forum is the first step towards an inclusive political debate dedicated to building a stronger Schengen area based on mutual trust. It feeds into the Schengen Strategy, which the Commission intends to present in mid-2021.
The Schengen Forum will continue to meet regularly both at political or technical levels. The next meeting at political level will take place in spring 2021, while targeted consultations at technical level will take place with representatives from the European Parliament and national authorities over the next months.