EU to allow border controls

This item appears on page 4 of the November 2017 issue.

The European Commission, which governs the European Union (EU), announced on Sept. 27 that it now will allow member states to temporarily reinstitute border controls, suspending free movement across borders, because of security concerns due to terrorism. 

The measure will allow member states to enact border controls for six months to two years, depending on the nature of the security threat. Any country wishing to reinstate border controls will need to prove that it faces a serious threat.

Free movement across borders in Europe is allowed because of the Schengen Agreement, which currently includes 26 countries. Not every EU country is a member of the Schengen Agreement, but all EU states are legally obligated to eventually become members as part of their membership with the EU. Some non-EU countries, such as Switzerland, are also members of the agreement.