On 15 December 2015, the European Commission adopted an important set of measures to manage the EU’s external borders and protect the Schengen area without internal borders. The proposals will help to manage migration more effectively, improve the internal security in the EU and safeguard the principle of free movement of persons. The Commission proposes a European Border and Coast Guard to ensure strong and shared management of the external borders. The Commission also proposes to amend the Schengen Border Code in order to introduce, at the external borders of the EU, systematic checks against relevant databases for all people entering or exiting the Schengen area. A uniform European travel document for return will facilitate effective return of illegally staying third country nationals.
The Commission also presented a Recommendation for a voluntary humanitarian admission scheme with Turkey. If the irregular flows into Europe through Turkey are successfully reduced, Member States are invited to admit from Turkey persons in need of international protection who have been displaced by the conflict in Syria and who were registered by Turkish authorities before 29 November 2015.
The European Commission also adopted a Practical Handbook for implementing and managing the European Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR), two Progress Reports on the Implementation of the hotspots in Greece and in Italy and a Progress Report on the management of the refugees' crisis on the Western Balkans route.
In addition, the Commission published the 8th biannual report on the functioning of the Schengen area and State-of-play reports on the refugee crisis.