Sunday, January 25, 2015
The worse affected nations outside of France, were Bulgaria and Romania, that saw their hopes to become members of the Schengen Agreement Area,being destroyed.
The focus on the restriction of the Schengen, with partial reinstatement or stricter border controls across the continent resurfaced. The Far-Right French leader Marine Le Pen, called for a suspension of the Schengen Agreement, to deal with the new national security threat.
While this argument is valid, the best solution would be a pan-European reaction to any security threat that any member state is facing, rather a national one.
It is unacceptable that in every crisis, Europe's leaders turn against one of the few benefits that we citizens are enjoying with our country's EU membership. Yet they never are as vocal to limit the banks' or lobbies' influence in the club.
The free movement, programs like the Erasmus and EURES, are highly beneficial for the ordinary Europeans, but in the long term for the European economy too. By having a highly mobile, multilingual and diverse working force, Europe can gain an advantage against its global competitors.
Yet populism seem to sell very well in every crisis. A better pan-European coordination, would not require more centralization or giving "more powers to Brussels", as many fear.
But by deeper cooperation and solidarity among all EU member states, we could turn the Schengen not just into a free movement Agreement, but a common security and defense area.
Partially this has already started. In light of security concerns, the member states established a joint database to be used in manhunts. Called the Schengen Information System (SIS), it has now been reformed in an attempt to make sharing information between offices faster and easier. (Deutsche Welle)
Thus, there is no need for national politicians to scaremonger their citizens anymore, just to gain a few votes. When we are talking about issues that affect all Europeans, national or personal interests should be set aside.
And as we should all learn to stand by each other, I do not see why Romania and Bulgaria should tolerate this unfair treatment by their European "partners." They have to suffer the rising populist agenda in the EU's "heavyweights" like France, Germany and the Netherlands.
To appease internal issues, fears and complexes, the leaders of the core European countries are keeping Bulgaria's and Romania's Schengen membership in suspense.
That is unacceptable and discriminatory against the Balkan nations. They maybe poor, but they have proven to be committed to the European Union, more than many of its older members are.
United we are stronger and the more states participate in a common European defense and anti-terrorism mechanism, the better. You can not secure Europe's borders, by excluding some of the club's members. It is just awkward and nonsensical to talk about protection of the European territory, keep the free movement, while excluding million of your citizens from it.
It is clear that in this case, "more Europe" is the solution. Closer cooperation in policing, defense, anti-terrorism action, immigration and intelligence agencies.
This unity could also be very crucial to the so much feared Russian "threat", that notably the Baltic states are increasingly worried about.
If Europe shows a determined and fully functioning unity and solidarity, no external threat could in reality challenge it. The rest of the European states must show an increasing support for the club's Eastern or Southern borders, instead of sitting comfortably and passively safe behind the efforts of the bordering nations.
Either with or without the Schengen, immigrants and human traffickers will still strive to enter the heartlands of Europe. It is not Bulgaria's or Romania's fault, it is the result of Europe's economic supremacy over other regions.
Instead of limiting the citizens' freedoms, we should be enhancing them with a coordinated action. Fight populism with resounding results and pan-European initiatives.
End the exclusion and discrimination of certain nations, while supporting those member states that are located in the continent's borders. We are all in this together after all.