Question for oral answer to the Council Rule 115 Sylvie Guillaume, Ioan Enciu, Claude Moraes, Juan Fernando López Aguilar, Carmen Romero López, Robert Goebbels, Iliana Malinova Iotova, on behalf of the S&D Group
Subject: Schengen - illegal controls at internal borders
Free 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 entails 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.
In order to provide the basis for a regular debate in the European Parliament and the Council and to contribute to the strengthening of political guidance and cooperation in the Schengen Area, the Commission recently presented the first biannual overview on the functioning of Schengen. Unfortunately, there remain many challenges to Schengen across the Member States.
In particular, complaints have been made regarding the existence of controls at internal borders. This time, the complaints (accompanied by detailed data) concern checks of Czech buses performed, on a systematic basis, by the German authorities in areas near the borders. According to the statistics presented (from February 2012), around 55.3% of the buses passing through Germany are checked.
In the meantime, there has been a decision of a Dutch court, on 11 May 2012, that ruled that controls made by the Dutch authorities since 1 June 2011 under the ‘Mobiel Toezicht Veiligheid’ scheme, whose legal basis is Article 4.17(a) of the ‘Vreemdelingenbesluit’ of 2000, have the same effects as border controls and are in clear violation of the Schengen rules, namely Articles 20 and 21 of the Schengen Borders Code.
Is the Council aware of these facts? Does the Council consider that something has to be done to stop this systematic infringement of the Schengen rules?
Does the Council believe that this increasing tendency justifies the need to create a genuine European Schengen evaluation mechanism?