Schengen Area : Member states draw MEPs’ ire
15 June 2012
On 7 June, European interior ministers endorsed, a Franco-German plan to reinforce borders within the Schengen Area. Controls may now be re-established without the prior approval of the European Commission, and crucially, the member states’ initiative will ensure that parliament and the Commission only have a consultative role in the running of the border-free zone. On 14 June, MEPs hit back by suspending cooperation with European Council on five JHA dossiers, including Schengen. On 12 June, they even threatened to bring a case against the Council before the European Court of Justice. For Dilema Veche, the power struggle “is not just about border controls” –
The bone of contention in the notorious power struggle between the parliament and the Council, which has been ongoing for decades, is the manner in which the European Union should be defined: as an association of member states based on treaties and intergovernmental agreements, or as a common political and – mein Gott, you said it – fiscal entity…
The Bucharest daily argues that the ministers’ decision is not only a treacherous attack on the Bolkestein Directive on services – "a protectionist measure to protect national labour markets in a time of crisis” – but also evidence of a French and German position that is “borderline schizophrenic” –
On the one hand, Germany wants a fiscal union, while France wants more financial integration. On the other, both countries want intergovernmental relations on issues relating to Schengen.