Migrant crises and a series of terror attacks on EU soil have resulted in differences in the application of the Schengen acquis by the member states, and the Schengen has come across a crisis.
During the debate, it was also said that the coronavirus pandemic had produced an additional burden on the Schengen area and that internal border controls were restored.
Swedish MEP Sara Skyttedal, who is a rapporteur for the Council regulation on the establishment and operation of an evaluation and monitoring mechanism to verify the application of the Schengen acquis, called for more unannounced inspections to deal with suspected international security risks and violations of fundamental human rights.
“Unannounced visits, being one of the most effective tools to verify Member States practices, should take place without prior notification to the Member State concerned,” reads the report on this topic.
“Unannounced visits should take place for ‘investigative’ purposes in order to verify compliance with obligations under the Schengen acquis, including, in response to indications as regards the emergence of systemic problems that could potentially negatively impact the functioning of the Schengen area or lead to fundamental rights violations, in particular allegations of serious violations of fundamental rights at the external borders,” it is suggested.
The document was adopted on Thursday by 427 votes for, 102 votes against, while 24 MEPs abstained from the vote.
The Schengen area now has a population of 420 million in the 26 member-states.
Croatia has met all the technical requirements for its admission to the passport-free zone.
Croatian MEP Karlo Ressler told Hina that Croatia’s joining the Schengen area was in the interest of all Schengen members and the EU.
Asked if there was opposition to plans to admit Croatia to the Schengen area, Ressler said that the visit by French President Emmanuel Macron to Zagreb last year was a watershed moment.
Ressler underscored that the whole process is going as planned.
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