Schengen petition from Belgium presented to the European Parliament: “Protect our border regions! “

03.07.2020 10:14

Schengen petition from Belgium presented to the European Parliament: “Protect our border regions! “

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On Thursday evening (02/07/2020), a petition on the protection of the Schengen area, jointly drafted by Mäggy Pricken-Rossberg and Lutz-René Jusczyk (“Open Borders Europe”) with the support of Belgian MEP Pascal Arimont, was officially presented to the European Parliament. At a meeting of the Parliament’s Committee on Petitions, Mäggy Pricken-Rossberg, representing the Open Borders Group, called for a border-free Europe. “As part of the reaction to the COVID 19 pandemic, we had to experience how Europe’s internal borders were suddenly shut down and disproportionate border controls were introduced by the Member States. This has been a painful experience for many border regions in Europe. This is not a marginal issue, but a problem that has affected a large number of people. Border regions represent 40 % of the European territory and 30 % of the EU population. Unfortunately, this is too often forgotten in the capitals," underlined Mrs Pricken-Rossberg.

Following an earlier online petition by Lutz-René Jusczyk that managed to collect more than 7.000 signatures in a very short period of time, the representatives of the Open Borders Group decided, in consultation with Belgian MEP Pascal Arimont, to launch a petition to the European Parliament. The petitioners call for a Schengen development plan – a “Schengen 2.0”. “In the event of a second COVID-19 wave or other WHO-recognised pandemics of this magnitude, such a plan should provide solutions for the Schengen area to remain fully operational in the future without internal border controls. The current rules of the Schengen Borders Code and the Free Movement Directive should be adapted accordingly”, explained Mrs Pricken-Rossberg in front of the Committee.

The Committee on Petitions will now discuss further steps to take in order to react to the demands. “The European Parliament represents EU citizens and therefore has a duty to address the concerns of local people. I want to ensure that this petition, which is extremely important for the European border regions, is dealt with very quickly,” said MEP Arimont. “My task will now be to get support for a Parliament resolution with clear demands. In order to combat future pandemics efficiently, we need a Schengen area with common contingency plans that prevent Member States from immediately raising borders in the event of a crisis. To this end, I will look for supporters in the relevant parliamentary committees", concluded Mr Arimont.

The petition can also be supported online!

The petition to the European Parliament can be supported online. This only requires a registration on Parliament’s petition portal.

Become a supporter! How does it work?

The petition can be accessed online. It can also be found via the search function by entering the title or the number “0653/2020” in the “Find a petition”-search. Supporters will only need to create a user account in advance. To do so, you must click on the “Submit or support petition” page and fill in the registration form. An email will then be sent for confirmation to the email address you provided. To confirm, click on the link in this email. The user account is created and the petition can be supported by clicking on “Support this petition” below the text.

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