The Schengen Agreement Starting to be Circumvented

Schengen Agreement

The cornerstone of the EU was to be the freedom of movement to create the United States of Europe. This became known as the Schengen Agreement to the create a borderless Europe signed on June 14th, 1985 between five of the then ten member states of the EU. It proposed the gradual abolition of border checks at the signatories’ common borders. Measures proposed included reduced speed vehicle checks which allowed vehicles to cross borders without stopping, allowing of residents in border areas freedom to cross borders away from fixed checkpoints and the harmonization of visa policies.

Britain has been preventing those non-EU citizens with Schengen visas from freely crossing the border into Britain. Someone from Ukraine with an EU visa cannot travel to Britain and subsequently to many former British commonwealth states such as Bahamas even for a vacation. Switzerland also is experiencing an anti-EU immigration trend.

The European Heads of State and Government met in Brussels on Thursday to discuss a “targeted amendment” of the EU freedom of movement within the Schengen Agreement. This is illustrating the concerns that are rising both from a civil unrest perspective as well as economic. Nonetheless, this topic will trigger a conflict between the European Parliament and the European Commission on the one hand and the EU Member States on the other side..The EU leaders want to introduce systematic and coordinated border checks on individuals at entry and exit from the Schengen area.

Current Schengen rules allow the EU’s border guards to access data of EU citizens.This process is proceeding “unsystematic”. However, it remains unclear what the definition of the word “unsystematic” is based. “There is no judgment on the definition of (…) In the past, ruled the EU Court of Justice that the systematic review of EU citizens is not allowed because it would interfere with the right of free movement. One should not ask why they are traveling, only verify their identity and citizenship.

As the economy turns down very hard after 2015.75, we are more likely than not going to see the freedom of movement in Europe fragment and that will be the crack that signals the eventual risk of breaking up the EU idea of empire-building. First came the  Schengen Agreement and then the Euro was sold as the culmination of the freedom of movement. Now the Freedom of Movement will decline and that will ultimate lead to the demise of the Euro.