EU governments have placed a large question mark over the future of Europe’s passport-free travel zone, signalling an extension of national border controls within the 26-country Schengen area in response to the immigration crisis.
As Europe scrambled to put together a coherent answer to the biggest challenge the union has faced, EU interior ministers meeting in Amsterdam on Monday compounded a sense of gloom and confusion in the face of ever rising numbers of people heading into Greece from Turkey.
Klaas Dijkhoff, the Dutch migration minister, said the governments were to ask the European commission for permission to extend and prolong the border controls from May because the numbers of refugees reaching Europe were not diminishing.
Under the rules governing the open travel area, governments could suspend the Schengen system for two years, dealing a potentially terminal blow to a scheme that has been in place for more than 20 years. “These measures are inevitable at this point in time,” said Dijkhoff of the likely suspension.
Following eight hours of talks in the Dutch capital, the Austrian interior minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, said: “Schengen is on the brink of collapse.”
In the past week, national leaders and senior EU officials have made increasingly alarmist pronouncements on Schengen’s future, warning that the travel zone could crumble within weeks and bring with it the risk of union dissolution.
Pour lire la suite : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/25/refugee-crisis-schengen-area-scheme-brink-amsterdam-talks