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Immigration: The Schengen shipwreck

The Schengen shipwreck – Uber
Cartoon movement (Amsterdam)

While Europeans celebrated the thirtieth anniversary of the Schengen agreement on 14 June, Italy and France were caught in a diplomatic tug of war over the fate of 200 migrants stuck in Vintimille, on the border between the two countries. Around a hundred of them are camping on the rocks by the sea shore and have begun a hunger strike to protest against the fact that the French authorities will not let them re-enter France in their bid to reach Germany. Germany suspended the European agreement on freedom of movement, as it is entitled to, from 26 May to 15 June, during the G7 summmit.

The Italian authorities are also accusing France of having effectively suspended Schengen by carrying out permanent and systematic identity checks at the border. Paris considers this a simple application of its right to check the papers of people moving within its territory and to accompany individuals without the necessary documents back to the Italian border from which they entered.

Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi called for solidarity from his European partners to accept some of the migrants who are arriving en masse in Italy. He threatened to turn to a no less ambiguous 'Plan B' if that solidarity is not offered and if the migrant distribution plan proposed by the European Commission is not adopted at the next meeting of the European Council on 25 June.