EU likely to restore Schengen this year

EU likely to restore Schengen this year
Updated 04 March 2016

EU likely to restore Schengen this year

EU likely to restore Schengen this year

BRUSSELS: The European Union will unveil on Friday a “road map” to restore by November the Schengen passport-free travel area, which is nearing collapse because of the migration crisis, sources said.
The plan, a draft of which has been seen by AFP, includes quickly creating an EU coast guard system and strengthening Greece’s external border, the main point of entry for refugees and migrants to Europe.
After nearly two decades of European free travel, the 26-country Schengen area is tottering as several member states unilaterally reintroduce border controls to stop migrants passing from Greece to richer northern European countries.
“We will adopt tomorrow a roadmap on how to restore a fully functioning Schengen system,” a source in the European Commission, the executive arm of the EU, told AFP.
With Europe facing its biggest migration crisis since World War II, the European Commission’s plan says that restoring the Schengen area is “of paramount importance for the European Union as a whole.”
If all fails and border controls have to be reintroduced, “it would put an end to a central pillar of the EU unification process,” it said.
It warns that the economic cost of a Schengen collapse over 10 years could be 1.4 trillion euros ($1.5 trillion).
More than 1.13 million migrants have arrived in Europe since the start of 2015, with most landing in Greece from Turkey and then traveling up to reach Germany and Sweden.