i on europe


Brussels blog by some wire service journalists

3 EU states insist on control of national borders


BRUSSELS (AP) — Germany, France and Spain warned the European Union’s head office Tuesday not to meddle in how they manage their borders, insisting it’s a question of state sovereignty, even as the bloc’s member nations debate how to tackle issues such as illegal immigration and crime.

The three-country statement came as the EU Commission prepared to present plans Friday to better manage the Schengen zone of borderless travel through much of Europe. The Schengen Agreement governing the zone is a legally binding treaty; 25 countries are currently members of the Schengen visa-free zone.

The Commission says its proposal would allow it to assess how member countries patrol the outer border of the visa-free zone, and to give financial and technical assistance to countries found to have deficiencies. Brussels could, if the deficiencies persisted, order checks instituted at a country’s internal borders — those national borders that lie within the visa-free zone.

But Germany, France and Spain fear the proposal would give Brussels too many powers over national borders if it could decide when and how disputes should be solved.



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