First Schengen Forum: Towards a stronger and more resilient Schengen area

04 December 2020

Border Security

On November 30, 2020 the Commission, Members of the European Parliament and Home Affairs Ministers of the Council of the EU met on a video conference to exchange constructive insights towards building a stronger and more resilient Schengen area. These discussions represented the first step in an inclusive political debate towards building a stronger Schengen area based on mutual trust and will feed into the Schengen Strategy that the Commission intends to present in mid-2021.

The discussions focused on:

  • Improving the mechanism to evaluate the implementation of the Schengen rules: Options for operational improvements as well as legislative changes to the mechanism were discussed for better monitoring, quicker and more efficient identification of possible deficiencies and effective follow up.
  • Finding a way forward on the revision of the Schengen Borders Code: Participants discussed possible ways forward to improve the current Schengen rules, with the shared objective of overcoming existing internal border controls and ensuring that any possible reintroduction of controls at internal borders in the future is proportionate, used as a measure of last resort and for a limited period of time.
  • Better managing the EU's external borders: Participants stressed the need for quickly putting in place the Entry/Exit System (EES) and the European Traveller Information and Authorisation System (ETIAS). These systems complement existing databases such as the Schengen Information System or the Visa Information System, which need to be used in full. The ongoing work towards ensuring that information systems for migration, border management and security become interoperable by 2023 was highlighted as crucial to give border guards the information they need to know who is crossing the EU's borders.
  • Enhancing police cooperation and information exchange: Common and coordinated European action, for instance through increased police cooperation, better information exchange and better use of new technologies, is crucial to guarantee security within the Schengen area. Measures such as joint patrols, joint investigation teams, cross-border hot pursuits or joint threat analysis were discussed as being alternatives to effectively address threats to security.
  • Strengthening the governance of the Schengen area: Regular meetings of the Schengen Forum, based on reports provided by the Commission, will help ensure the political involvement of all relevant players.

 

Further details are available here.

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