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European Commission


Strasbourg, 12 June 2013

Commissioner Malmström welcomes rules to protect free movement

I very much welcome the European Parliament's approval of the new Schengen proposals. This is good news for hundreds of millions of people, as the new rules will better protect Schengen as an area without controls at internal borders and will help prevent and remove unjustified obstacles to free movement.

Today's vote allows for a sound Schengen governance, based on clear and transparent European rules that will make the system more efficient.

The Commission is given a central role in guaranteeing that Member States correctly implement the Schengen rules. The new system will prevent Member States from unilaterally deciding to reintroduce unnecessary controls at the internal borders without any European verification. The Commission, in close cooperation with experts from the Member States, will ensure that the Schengen rules will be respected. Thanks to the new system, unannounced visits can be carried out and possible shortcomings and deficiencies can be addressed in a timely manner, thus ensuring that countries can solve free movement issues, if they were to arise.

In truly exceptional situations, the temporary reintroduction of internal border controls is conditioned to a structured European decision-making mechanism, so that no Member State could take such a decision unilaterally. This will strengthen mutual trust and avoid that national decisions negatively affect the common free movement area.

The Schengen area is of great benefit to European citizens. The possibility of travelling without passports is a reality for hundreds of thousands of people every day. With the news rules we are preserving and reinforcing this common achievement, strengthening the citizen's right to move freely.

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