The crisis on Europe’s border

Boat_People_at_Sicily_in_the_Mediterranean_Sea.jpgIn 1989, Europe celebrated the fall of the Berlin Wall. Today, less than 30 years after, new fences are built along the European borders. Has Schengen failed?

The Schengen Agreement was first signed in 1985, as The Netherlands, Luxembourg, Belgium, France, and West Germany agreed to progressively remove their border controls. Within a few years, in 1990, it was integrated into the Schengen Convention, which establishes a common visa policy among all the participating states, and was further enhanced by its inclusion into the body of Law of the European Union. This decision, taken in the context of the Treaty of Amsterdam in 1997, has important repercussions now: making the Schengen’s provision part of the European aquis implies that a suspension of the Agreement cannot take place based on the unilateral decision of one or more adhering States, but has to be approved by the EU itself.

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