Summary title: Petition No 0653/2020 by Rene Jusczyk (Belgian), on behalf of the Open Borders Europe association, bearing 2 signatures, on the Schengen system and measures taken during the COVID-19 crisis
Petition number: 0653/2020
Topics: Internal Market - Free movement of persons
Country: European Union
Name of association: Open Borders Europe
Name: Lutz René Jusczyk
The petitioner points to the fact that with the Schengen Borders Code border regions have become model European regions where cross-border exchanges have been instrumental in reducing resentment and prejudice on all sides of the borders. Due to the COVID-19 crisis suddenly unnecessary journeys to and from Belgium were forbidden. There was a lot of ambiguity about what was a justified ground for border crossing. The petitioner demands to examine the legality of the border controls and the restrictions introduced more rigorously at European level for future cases. He also demands the Belgian authorities to explain in a transparent manner what objective reasons can be put forward in relation to the proportionality of the continued controls and restrictions on admission at its borders. With regard to border controls, the question arises in particular whether the COVID 19 pandemic – which undoubtedly poses a risk to public health – should be considered as a “serious threat to public policy or internal security” in accordance with Articles 25(3) and 28 of Regulation (EU) 2016/399 (Schengen Borders Code). Finally, he urges the Member States, the European Parliament, the Council of the European Union and the European Commission, to draw up a plan to revitalise and strengthen the Schengen area.