Ending free movement in the Schengen zone would be fatal to Europe, European Commissioner for Internal Affairs Dimitris Avramopoulos warned on Friday.
“We share the concerns of some member states for security, but Schengen is alive and should remain alive, because if Schengen dies, Europe will die,” Avramopoulos told reporters at a meeting of EU interior ministers in Luxembourg.
Several European countries, headed by France and Germany, are in favor of amending the Schengen rules that they consider obsolete, given the persistent terrorist threat.
In principle, the European Commission has accepted to reform Schengen regulations in this respect, but does not want to go as far as Paris and Berlin, as well as Austria and Denmark want.
Without waiting for the EC to implement reforms, applying the current regulations, these countries have already announced that they will extend the provisional border controls introduced in 2015 for another six months.
Germany and France welcomed today in Luxembourg the fact that the European Commission has put the Schengen Treaty reform on the agenda.