The Civil Liberties, Justice and Internal Affairs Committee (LIBE) of the European Parliament voted 48-to-6 with 0 abstentions on Tuesday a proposal to amend the current Schengen Borders Code; the text was drafted by Romanian MEP Monica Macovei, a rapporteur to the European Parliament.
Macovei’s office announced that the LIBE Committee mandated her to open on behalf of the European Parliament three-party negotiations with the Council (representing the member states) and the European Commission.
Negotiations should be as quick as possible, to protect the citizens’ life and safety, said Macovei, as quoted in the Tuesday’s release, which adds that once adopted by the European Parliament and by the Council, the new Schengen Borders Code is effective immediately, without the need for transposition into the national law.
The voted modifications add checks in the databases of the persons who enter/exit the European Union, applicable to both EU and non-EU citizens.
The MEP explained that verifications should be moved at the external borders of the EU; the European Commission wanted then only upon entrance into the Schengen Area. Macovei insisted that Romanian citizens are entitled to equal protection. The databases are basically Schengen, Interpol, Europol and national, she explained
However, if these systematic controls slow down the traffic at any specific EU external air-, sea- or land border too much, the member states should be allowed to asked the derogation from exhaustive verifications, and only check potentially dangerous individuals based on existing information.