France and Germany push to suspend free movement

Published on 20 April 2012 at 12:08

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France and Germany want to limit the free movement of people in Europe. The German newspaper Süddeutsche Zeitung has published a joint letterfrom the French and German interior ministers calling for “the possibility of re-establishing internal border controls.” The matter could be raised at the next meeting of European politicians on April 26.

In the letter Claude Gueant and Hans-Peter Friedrich suggest that suspension of the Schengen treaty is justified where security is insufficient at some of the EU external borders, and to address internal security matters and safeguard national sovereignty, the Munich daily writes.

The Süddeutsche Zeitung adds that the resumption of border monitoring would aim to combat economic migration, and suggests this could foster anti-European political sentiment –

What is the value of it, open borders without restrictions? […] What is the point of freedom of movement if European governments are able to limit it? If member states withdraw into their national territory when there are problems, they are demonstrating that they believe their small nation state is far better than Europe. In this case we should not be surprised if nationalist parties, populist and the extreme right are on the rise throughout Europe. The temporary closure of internal borders is a continuous advertisement for the enemies of Europe.

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