EU Leaders to Bolster Bloc’s Borders After Paris AttacksRebecca Christie
European Union leaders will urge changes to the 28-nation bloc’s border controls to bolster security, according to a draft document prepared for their first meeting since the Paris terrorist attacks.
Leaders due to meet in Brussels for the Feb. 12 summit also will renew their call to move ahead with a law to force airlines to share passenger data with governments, the draft shows. The passenger name records bill has been on hold because of opposition from European Parliament members concerned about the measure’s impact on privacy.
EU chiefs will ask that “full use be made of the existing Schengen framework to reinforce and modernize external borders’ controls,” according to the draft statement, referring to the Schengen area comprising 26 European nations from Iceland to Greece that have eliminated passport and immigration controls at their joint borders.
The leaders’ position builds on a commitment made last month by EU interior ministers when they met in Paris after terror attacks claimed 17 lives across the French capital. They pledged to tighten borders and improve the flow of intelligence in a bid to stem the flow of terrorists between Europe and Syria.
“A targeted proposal to amend the Schengen Borders Code is a necessary step to reinforce external borders by making it possible to proceed to systematic checks on individuals enjoying the right of free movement against databases relevant to the fight against terrorism based on the common risk indicators,” the EU draft said.
The bloc’s leaders also will urge nations to move quickly to implement new anti-money laundering rules, and to step up coordination among law enforcement and judicial authorities. The draft also says the EU should mobilize its foreign-affairs efforts to counter escalating terrorism threats, such as from Syria and Libya.