The ability for European citizens to move freely across borders is one of the greatest achievements of European integration.
There is only one Europe – I saw it through the window of the plane. – Lech Wałęsa, President of Poland 1990-1995 and winner of the Nobel Peace Prize
The Schengen area makes it possible for citizens to move across national borders without border controls or having to show their ID documents. Since 2015, this privilege, that we often tend to take for granted, has become more limited as several Member States have decided to reinstate harder border .
In 2015, over one million refugees reached the borders of the European Union and Schengen cooperation was put to the test. Some Member States, including Sweden, chose to reintroduce border controls. The urgent crisis is now considered to be over, but several Member States still have border controls, even though they are no longer necessary.
The issue of border controls should not be a domestic issue. It is a European issue. Freedom of movement is one of the key principles of European integration and it is absolutely necessary that it is respected. In the European Parliament, I am representing the Liberal group in the interparliamentary working group on Schengen Scrutiny. We are working actively to improve security at the external borders of the EU in order to protect a well-functioning Schengen area.
Several negotiations are taking place regarding EU information systems that will enable Member States to exchange information on criminals, missing persons and visas. A safe, secure and well-functioning Schengen area is necessary to guarantee the rights of European citizens. That is why we are working very hard to protect the free movement within the Union, while securing the external borders of the Union.