Question for oral answer to the Commission Rule 115 Renate Weber, Sophia in 't Veld, Alexander Alvaro, Baroness Sarah Ludford, Sonia Alfano, Louis Michel, Nathalie Griesbeck, Cecilia Wikström, Stanimir Ilchev, Leonidas Donskis, Ramon Tremosa i Balcells, Marielle de Sarnez, Jelko Kacin, Ivo Vajgl, on behalf of the ALDE Group
Subject: Schengen - illegal controls at internal borders
Freedom of movement is a defining principle of the EU, and the ability to move within the EU without facing checks at internal borders is one of its most successful achievements.
An area without internal border controls which enables the free movement of citizens, workers, goods and services is essential to the success of the single market and to Europe’s continued efforts to boost economic growth.
Unfortunately, the challenges to Schengen continue to grow across the Member States. Once again, complaints have been made regarding the existence of controls at internal borders. This time, the complaints, accompanied by detailed data, concern the checks that the German authorities are systematically carrying out on Czech buses in border areas. According to the statistics presented in February 2012, around 55.3 % of buses passing through Germany are checked.
Meanwhile, on 11 May 2012 a Dutch Court ruled that the checks carried out since 1 June 2011 by the Dutch authorities under the ‘Mobiel Toezicht Veiligheid’ on the basis of Article 4(17)(a) of the ‘Vreemdelingenbesluit 2000’ have the same effects as border controls and are in clear violation of the Schengen rules, specifically Articles 20 and 21 of the Schengen Borders Code.
Is the Commission aware of these facts? After months of investigation, is the Commission ready to take a position with regard to the controls at the Dutch border and to initiate infringement proceedings, pursuant to Article 258 of the TFEU, against any countries which are in clear violation of the Schengen rules?
What steps does the Commission intend to take with regard to Schengen governance in view of the series of incidents – including the Franco-Italian spat over Tunisian migrants which led to the reintroduction of controls near Ventimiglia, and the Danish plan to reintroduce controls at the internal borders – that have taken place during the last two years? Will the Commission accept that the proposals on Schengen governance have been hijacked by the Council decision to modify the legal basis of the proposal on the creation of an evaluation mechanism for the area?