During the past three months of the 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, the Renew Europe Group in the European Parliament has relentlessly defended the unrestricted travel rights of 400 million Europeans.
That is why the Group has also 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 the plenary debate of 18 June, Renew Europe Group called 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 Europe 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. Renew Europe 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.
Dragoş Tudorache MEP, 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!"
📣 The new #ALDEParty Liberal Bulletin has just been released! In this issue, find out more about how liberals are working for an EU 🇪🇺 that delivers, fighting #COVID19 and taking a stand for freedom and equality across Europe. Read more: https://t.co/ArQlRRZzo0 pic.twitter.com/l8wTkmr7Gz— ALDE Party (@ALDEParty) June 24, 2020