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Revision of the Schengen Borders Code [EU Legislation in Progress]

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Written by Costica Dumbrava (1st edition).

In December 2021, the European Commission presented a proposal to amend the Schengen Borders Code, which lays down the rules governing controls at the EU internal and external borders. While debates on the reform of Schengen have been going on for a while, recent challenges related to the coronavirus pandemic on the one hand, and attempts to instrumentalise migrants as a way to put pressure on the EU’s external borders, on the other, have created new momentum for reform.

The Commission’s proposal aims to improve the Schengen system’s resilience to serious threats, and to adapt it to new challenges. It introduces a new coordination mechanism to deal with health threats at the external borders and a new Schengen safeguard mechanism to provide a common response at the internal borders in situations of threats affecting Member States, including the possibility to directly transfer irregular migrants apprehended at the internal borders back to the competent authorities in the EU country from which it is assumed they just came, without undergoing an individual assessment.

The proposal, which falls under the ordinary legislative procedure, is at the initial stage of the legislative process. In the European Parliament, the proposal has been assigned to the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE). Preliminary discussions have also taken place in the Council.

Versions

Proposal for a Regulation amending Regulation (EU) 2016/399 on a Union Code on the rules governing the movement of persons across borders
Committee responsible:Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs (LIBE)COM(2021) 891
14.12.2021
Rapporteur:Sylvie Guillaume (S&D, France)2021/0428(COD)
Shadow rapporteurs:Sara Skyttedal (EPP, Sweden)
Malik Azmani (Renew, Netherlands)
Erik Marquardt (Greens/EFA, Germany)
Patryk Jaki (ECR, Poland)
Pernando Barrena Arza (The Left, Spain)
Ordinary legislative procedure
(COD) (Parliament and Council
on equal footing – formerly ‘co-decision’)
Next steps expected: Publication of draft report