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Malmström opens for EU border controls

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Malmström opens for EU border controls
14:47 CEST+02:00
Swedish EU commissioner Cecilia Malmström has opened up to calls for simplifying the establishment of border controls between EU countries following the recent French-Italian conflict over Tunisian refugees.

“It may be necessary to foresee the temporary re-introduction of limited internal border controls under very exceptional circumstances, such as where a part of the external border comes under heavy unexpected pressure", Malmström said in a statement on Wednesday.

The statement is in response to demands last week by French president Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi for restrictions to the free movability that the Schengen agreement entails.

Sarkozy and Berlusconi were united in the wish to make it easier to establish temporary border controls between member states following the heavy influx of African refugees to EU member states since the beginning of the year.

Today temporary border controls can only be established between member states in the case of a threat to the law and order of a society, like in the case of a major influx of hooligans before a big football game.

The changes to the Schengen agreement will be discussed at an extra meeting between EU migration ministers next week and at the EU Council at the end of June.

“Schengen and freedom of movement is an enormous achievement for EU citizens and must be preserved. However, Schengen requires the member states to trust each other and this can only happen if the regulations are applied effectively and properly monitored,” Malmström wrote on her blog on Tuesday.

Ahead of the council meeting, Malmström also promised a number of suggestions in a package of migration proposals to be released later on in May.

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