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Parliamentary question - E-001864/2023(ASW)Parliamentary question

Answer given by Ms Johansson on behalf of the European Commission

1. The Commission does not have information on the alleged practices. The Schengen Coordinator has been in contact with the Spanish and French authorities since October 2022 regarding the reintroduced internal border controls by France. The discussions are focused on the measures available to the Member States to address the threats to internal security or public policy.

2. As set out in the 2021 Schengen Strategy[1], the Commission considers that more targeted alternative measures to internal border controls could help Member States to address the threats to public policy and internal security identified at their internal borders more efficiently. Such measures include the stepping up of cross-border police cooperation activities that, however, shall still be in full compliance with the human rights standards and principles set out in international and Union law.

3. As announced in the State of Schengen Report of 16 May 2023[2], the Commission is currently carrying out a formal consultation process on internal border controls under Article 27 of the Schengen Borders Code[3]. This process aims at assessing, together with the Member States concerned, the situation at the border sections currently subject to internal border controls and exploring the implementation of alternative measures. While the police cooperation between Spain and France as an alternative to internal border controls is at the heart of this discussion, the Commission does not have the power to interfere with the organisation of the exercise of police powers in this context. Nonetheless, where these consultations uncover practices in breach of fundamental rights, the Commission is prepared to make use of the legal means at its disposal.

Last updated: 2 October 2023
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