France, Germany push for tight EU borders after attacks

BERLIN / PARIS – France and Germany on Tuesday pushed for tightening EU borders, with French President Emmanuel Macron calling the suspected militants a “terrorism threat”, followed by eight people a month in Paris, Nice and Vienna Died.

The attacks rejected the European Union’s focus on religious extremism, which fell to the top of the political agenda following the 2017 defeat of Islamic State forces in the Middle East.

Under pressure to reassure security and reassuring voters following the latest attacks, Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that Europe’s troubled Schengen area of ​​control-free travel on open borders needed immediate fixing.

The attacks in Nice and Vienna involved attackers who moved freely between Schengen countries.

Macron said after discussing with Merkel, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and top officials of Brussels, the EU hub, “The threat of terrorism lies over Europe. We must respond.”

“Free movement in security is allowed to improve Schengen.”

Armed police officers patrolled the scene of a terrorist attack in Vienna, Austria in November.Ronald Zuck / AP File

Merkel together with Macron called for stricter control over the outer frontier of the Schengen region, which brings together 26 countries, including most members of the European Union as well as Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

“It is necessary to know who comes and who leaves the Schengen area,” she said.

National border concerns, chaotic migration from the Middle East and Africa to the European Union in recent years and the recent coronovirus epidemic have led to the re-emergence of some border controls in the Schengen zone – ending as a milestone achievement It is done. In the post-World War Two unification of Europe.

Kurz of Austria called for a more coordinated plan to deal with foreign terrorists, while Dutch Premier Root insisted to pursue “undesirable” foreign financing to combat extremism.

Other ideas include implementing strict demands on online platforms to combat extremism, establishing a specialized European institute to train Muslim imams and effectively providing people with no claims on Europe and criminals and suspected extremists Being able to deport from.

The European Union’s Minister of Justice and Interior meets on Friday – the fifth anniversary of the coordinated attacks in Paris in which Islamist gunmen killed more than 130 people – to discuss a joint security response to the latest incidents.

The reform of the sharing of security data and the block’s border force frontrax have been included in the EU’s to-do list according to its draft decision, which was viewed by Reuters.

In October, people extinguished candles outside the Nice-Dame de l’Assomation Basilica, paying tribute to the three victims of the knife attack.Valerie Hatch / AFP – Getty Images

Importantly for Macron, the ministerial decision includes language strengthening the rights of EU countries to temporarily suspend free movement across Schengen borders during security alerts. There are such restrictions on free movement in France since 2015.

But several resolutions on the table have now proved difficult to agree, let alone implemented, suggesting that the 27 leaders of the European Union will undergo a harsh crack due to a decision on concrete steps in December.

Discussions about drastic security measures come as the executive of the block is trying to “start afresh” on another sensitive debate within the block – immigration.

Brussels last summer proposed resolving years of rows to handle stringent border checks, tough asylum checks and new arrivals for effective returns to eligible people – but also for refugees and legal labor immigrants to the continent. A warm welcome.

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27 EU ministers are scheduled to discuss those proposals on Friday. Commenting on the latest attacks, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, the EU’s top migration official, said the two debates on Tuesday should not be confused.

“It is important that we do not fear or flee, especially not migrants,” Sved said in a speech.

“We need to manage migration but migration by itself is not a security threat. There can be individuals who are dangerous – among migrants but also those who already live here.

“Exodus in this way is not dangerous,” Johansson said.

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