Commission seeks to deal with chaos on EU borders
13 April, 2017
The European Commission called last week an experts meeting to resolve the chaos on the bloc’s external borders, triggered by the new security regulations. Starting from 7 April, the EU ordered systematic checks at the external borders of the Schengen passport-free area under legislation designed to tackle "foreign fighters" returning from Iraq and Syria. Only hours after they took effect, backed-up lines of cars and buses began forming at the main border crossings between Slovenia - a member of the Schengen area, and non-member Croatia, Slovenia announced a day after it temporarily suspended the checks. Newly-introduced tougher checks are "unacceptable" and should be amended, Slovenian PM Miro Cerar said. He spoke to Croatian PM Andrej Plenkovic and both agreed to present proposals to the Commission to “satisfactorily change this regulation as soon as possible". Greece also demanded a rules` revision.
The new regulation, which amends the Schengen Borders Code (SBC), was presented by the European Commission in December 2015 and approved by EP in February. It obliges Member States to carry out systematic checks on all persons crossing EU external borders against databases of stolen and lost documents, the Schengen Information System (SIS) and other relevant EU databases. The checks apply for all air, sea and land borders, on both entry and exit.
An estimated 5,000 EU citizens travelled to conflict zones such as Iraq and Syria between 2013 and 2015 to join terrorist groups like ISIS.