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Criticism for border shake-up proposal

The Local · 21 Apr 2012, 12:29

Published: 21 Apr 2012 12:29 GMT+02:00

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"The French President is attempting to improve his hopeless situation with right-wing populist rhetoric," Green party chairwoman Claudia Roth told the Hamburger Abendblatt on Saturday.

Critics say the proposal to radically reform the Schengen agreement - which abolished frontier controls in 1995 – would be a retrograde step for Europe. Under the agreement immigrants to Europe are allowed to move freely between states once inside the Schengen area without having to show identification.

"A Europe without border installations and tollgates was the dream of all those who began the European unification process," German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle told Focus magazine on Saturday. "We can’t jeopardize that now and especially not for small, tactical electoral gains."

In a joint letter sent this week to the European Union's Danish chair, French and German Interior Ministers Claude Guéant and Hans-Peter Friedrich said that where governments within the area fail to meet obligations to manage external frontiers partners should have "the possibility, as a last resort, to reintroduce internal frontiers for a period not greater than 30 days."

Head of the German police union GdP told the Hamburger Abendblatt on Saturday he doubts this would be workable, as after the Schengen agreement came into force a large number of Germany’s 10,000 border officials were deployed elsewhere.

But the proposal probably won’t get that far as it seems unlikely that it will find support on a European level.

President of the EU Parliament Martin Schluz has rejected the idea, which would see member states clawing back some control over their own borders.

"The community law of the union can’t be annulled by a bilateral announcement of two Interior Ministers," he told the Passauer Neuen Presse on Saturday.

Story continues below…

Schultz told the paper the "strange" proposal would not find majority support in the EU Council or in the EU Parliament.


The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

18:10 April 21, 2012 by McM
I suspect that the hidden agenda is to keep good people in rather than letting them all do a runner with prospect of the likes of Frau Roth and the against everything parties being in power after the the next elections in quaint old Germany and France.
19:34 April 21, 2012 by TurboDirectInjectionDiesel
At Chango Mutney

What you are saying is just plain populism.

It only points to the fact that you don't understand Europe.
20:43 April 21, 2012 by ovalle3.14
Sick sad world.
22:06 April 21, 2012 by 9900lawre
I think if i was MAD i would VOTE for the people who decide to TRY and enforce a border with no fences!

I know that the border police are not static but there simply isn't enough of them to patrol even a few Kilometres of border and be able to stop everyone that they come across.
07:04 April 22, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ 9900lawre

Get real! Fences are not used anymore for border protection. The job is done now with sensors. But no fence and no sensor can work without a good border police.
08:22 April 22, 2012 by Enough
Until they get control of the Schengen zone's exterior borders, it won't make much difference. Plus they have already may have a critical mass of undesirables already pulling more undesirables in (helping them), which will make the policeing job that much harder. Bottomline, whole thing wasn't well thought out to begin with and now they have realized they have problems that are out of control.
11:49 April 22, 2012 by 9900lawre
I have got real, Fences, Sensors, Regular patrols, CCTV, Whatever and more! There simply isn't enough Border Police or equipment to enforce it for this short time that is supposed to win votes. It's all just s front with nothing to back it up!

All or nothing, otherwise it's pointless sabre rattling!
09:42 April 23, 2012 by AlexR
So the Foreign Minister of the German government disagrees with the Interior Minister of the... German government who agrees Interior Minister of the... French government.

Finally... European integration in action.

As for the rest, this is one more blatant attempt of the German government to support the failure that is Sarkozy.
11:19 April 23, 2012 by Johnne
@chango Mutney

Are you a European? I guess not. Could you kindly stay out of this?
16:55 April 23, 2012 by Joe Wutbürger
@TurboDirectInjectionDiesel - define "populism" Does that mean "what the people want"? as against what the politicians believe the people SHOULD want?

Sorry, but I don't understand Europe either, or why independant nations should want to be ruled by an elite parliament in Brussels consisting of second rate self serving politicians. God forbid that any elected European government should "claw back" any power over its own borders, or over anything.

and @Johnne - I AM a European and freedom of speech is still allowed - until otherwise decided by the EUSSR.
22:11 April 23, 2012 by ChrisRea
@ Joe Wutbürger

"National" politicians are also second rate and self-serving. Actually I find the current generation of "my national" politicians more corrupt than those in the European Parliament. So I am happy that there is somebody in Brussels imposing some rules and standards.

Also for me the idea of a national state is not so important. Living in Berlin, I find having economic (and not only) exchanges with Wroclaw or Prague easier as with Bonn, for example. Most of the rules and standards are the same (they are called aqui communautaire), travelling over the borders is easy and I also enjoy paying the bus ticket in Bratislava with euro. That is how I feel European.

What is my understanding of the word "populism" used by TurboDirectInjectionDiesel? A movement that can foster right extremism and nazism, by using demagogy and scapegoating (just like what brought the Weimar Republic down to give free way to you-know-who).
17:39 April 25, 2012 by eurotrop
Apart from some otherwise justified, but irrelevant disgust towards European right-wing populism, ask yourself why exactly you, as a European citizen, are bothered by the apparent tendency of restoring either internal or external border control. It would actually allow setting up an internal filter for current criminal activity within Europe, a lack of which is laughed at and exploited by people from all around the planet, and it would also aid crime control of our own. Maybe there are a few factors of right-wing populism that Europeans could exploit with a half-smile, given that there are still enough sane, healthily cynical Europeans around.

As a European, I would gladly exchange the dubious domain of internal societal control and surveillance (that, to my opinion, is currently a bit too obviously targeted at the legitimate population rather than our "security"), in exchange for some internal as well as external border control. It would also create a lot of good jobs (and I primarily mean surveillance systems, robotics, etc), in a sector that does, for a change, actually and directly serve the societal welfare that you're supposed to pay your taxes for.

As far as the trivially present influx of random "refugees" and associatred groups of criminals are concerned (obviously not affected by border control as we import them ourselves), an internal grid of border control will indeed not provide any solution, but it would at least slow circulation, with little to no effect on our own freedom of movement.

There is a very simple and very effective addition to an otherwise indeed questionably effective internal border control, however, and that is abolishing refugee status completely. It generates no societal benefit (to put it very mildly), no significant profit, is futile, exploitable, and unreasonable. There is simply no reason to accept refugees at all, and even if certain groups (a very small minority of refugees in Europe) are indeed being killed in their own countries, Europe developed so far becuase we simply had nowhere to go, and had to solve our own problems or die tryng. I also don't see why the pure fact that other areas of this planet have little to zero chance of doing that today should be our responsibility, or why we should allow political decisions to be openly affected by trivial emotional side-effects of an apologist tolerance culture (Germans have a particular affection to this, and if I were German, I would seriously consider whether this apologist hysteria, going far beyond a mere historical scope nowadays, is fueled by the same unreasonable mystery of a sane, intelligent, viable, technologically and economically equally successful nation that allowed a devastating idiotistic personal lunacy of a pathetic, twitching Austrian midget previously). Just be careful not to make the same type of mistake again, but with an opposite sign this time.
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