During the past 3 months of COVID-19 crisis management EU Member States have taken starkly different approaches to control goods and persons crossing their borders. While accepting the need for extraordinary measures to slow down the spread of the virus, Renew Europe has relentlessly defended the unrestricted travel rights of 400 million Europeans. That is why we have played a key role in tabling a resolution to see a speedy return to a fully-functioning Schengen area without internal border controls and without discrimination towards certain nationalities. In today's plenary debate our Group will call on the European Council to complete the Schengen integration throughout the EU, including Bulgaria and Romania who are still left out after more than a decade of EU membership.
The resolution is critical of the Member States for providing little to no justification regarding the unprecedented level of border restrictions and their lack of compliance with the existing Schengen Borders Code. Renew MEPs stressed the need for a joint effort for coming up with a proportionate and coordinated Recovery Plan for Schengen, given that restoring the freedom of movement is a prerequisite for the EU's economic recovery. Our Group wants to see an end to the daily obstacles faced by cross-border workers and travellers due to the lack of information, inadequate facilities and extra waiting time at many border checkpoints within the EU.
MEP Dragoş TUDORACHE, Member of the LIBE Committee's Schengen Scrutiny Working Group commented:
"In the past few months, we have all felt the bitter taste of how Europe would look like without Schengen. This fragmented Europe made of frontiers and restrictions is not the Europe that our citizens want. It is time for the Council to deliver on their promise and complete the Schengen integration for Romania and Bulgaria. The future of Schengen is the future of Europe!"