Press Release: Back to Schengen: Commission proposes Roadmap for restoring fully functioning Schengen system

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Series Details IP/16/585 (04.03.16)
Publication Date 04/03/2016
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The European Commission presented on 4 March 2016 a detailed Roadmap of the concrete steps needed to return order to the management of the EU's external and internal borders caused by the European migration crisis.

The Commission said that the creation of the Schengen area without internal borders brought important benefits to European citizens and business alike, yet in recent months the system had been severely tested by the refugee crisis. The European Council of 18-19 February 2016 set the clear mandate of restoring the normal functioning of the Schengen area, and to do so in a concerted manner, while giving full support to Member States facing difficult circumstances.

First Vice-President Frans Timmermans said: 'Schengen is one of the most cherished achievements of European integration, and the costs of losing it would be huge. Our aim is to lift all internal border controls as quickly as possible, and by December 2016 at the latest. For this purpose, we need a coordinated European approach to temporary border controls within the framework of the Schengen rules instead of the current patchwork of unilateral decisions.

In the meantime, we must fully implement the measures set out in our roadmap in order to strengthen control of our external border and improve the functioning of our asylum system. We must also continue to work with Turkey to fully implement the Joint Action Plan and substantially reduce the flow of arrivals'.

Politico also reported that as part of the roadmap the European Commission was expected to officially present a proposal to reform the Dublin Regulation on the 16 March 2016. This would involve changing the EU rule requiring that refugees be registered in the first country where they arrived.

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Related Links
Deutsche Welle, 04.03.16: EU to restore Schengen by end of the year
EurActiv, 04.03.16: EU unveils plan to restore Schengen by the end of 2016
ESO: Background information: Schengen area
ESO: Background information: Suspend Schengen to Rescue Europe
ESO: Background Information: Meeting: Justice and Home Affairs Council, 25 February 2016
ESO: Information Guide: European Migration Challenges
ESO: Background information: European Council, Brussels 18-19 February 2016
Politico, 04.03.16: EU set to change the rules for refugees
EUObserver, 04.03.16: EU wants internal border controls lifted by December
EurActiv, 18.04.16: Orban will tour EU capitals with ‘Schengen 2.0’ plan
EurActiv, 19.04.16: New study plays down economic impact of Schengen border controls

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