Schengen agreement under threat says UN official

Europe's border-free region has been threatened by refugee crisis which has engulfed many EU countries

Schengen agreement under threat says UN official

World Bulletin / News Desk

The Schengen agreement that abolished many European border controls is under threat from the refugee crisis, the UN official responsible for migration said Tuesday.

“Schengen is under threat,” UN special representative Peter Sutherland said at a news conference on the refugee crisis in Geneva.

He added: “Schengen most definitely could fall apart and probably will fall apart if we do not get a common European policy in respect of migration.”

The agreement - implemented in 1995 - abolished border controls between 26 European countries, most of which are EU members but not all.

Chaotic scenes in Hungary in recent days have seen thousands of refugees attempting to pass through the EU nation to reach mainly Austria and Germany. Hungary initially attempted to prevent them from crossing its borders but later relented, leading to questions about the nature of a border-free Europe.

“Schengen is under threat, one of the greatest European achievements and one of the most beneficial aspects of public policy to the very states who are refusing to be part of a common European policy, particularly in central and eastern Europe,” Sutherland said.

Meanwhile, the UN refugee agency said at least 850,000 people are expected to cross the Mediterranean this year and in 2016.

The number crossing the Mediterranean so far this year has reached more than 366,000, according to the UN.

 

Last Mod: 09 Eylül 2015, 08:51
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