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 Full text 
Thursday, 18 June 2020 - Brussels Provisional edition

Situation in the Schengen area following the Covid-19 outbreak (debate)

  Lena Düpont (PPE). – Mr President, I was three when the Berlin Wall fell. I was 13 when Schengen became an integral part of the Amsterdam Treaty. I was about to finish school when 10 new Member States joined our European family. Europe was always part of my life. I have experienced it as open, as free and as a promising continent and to be honest, I never expected to see border controls again.

Yet, understandably due to the nature of the pandemic, and the force with which it hit us, closing borders without coordination caused chaos at the beginning, and even long—forgotten hard rhetoric came up again.

The good thing is, we experienced how closely connected we are already, not only across border regions, not only economically, and we saw that Schengen, that our freedom, is vulnerable, that it is invaluable, and that we need to protect it.

Luckily, Schengen is getting back on track. Europe is getting back on track, with a lot of work ahead of us. So let us draw the obvious lessons learned in the past weeks. Let’s prepare Schengen better and make full use of it for Europe’s recovery. Let’s make Europe come out stronger.


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