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France, Germany Reportedly Call to Extend Border Checks to Curb Terrorist Threat

France, Germany Reportedly Call to Extend Border Checks to Curb Terrorist Threat”

The European Union's executive offered initial backing on Thursday to a Franco-German proposal to allow more permanent border checks within the bloc's free-travel zone.

A confidential diplomatic paper seen by The Times reveals the nations are pushing for the Schengen zone to be suspended in "exceptional circumstances".

"We call on the [European] commission to submit draft legislation aimed at amending the provisions ... to allow member states to reintroduce internal border controls for periods longer than now provided for", the newspaper cited the document.

Schengen rules allow for the reintroduction of such frontier controls for up to two years and the ones now in place expire in November. The idea has reportedly been backed by the EU's migration chief.

"The commission recognises that new security challenges have appeared in the past years, as demonstrated by the recent terrorist attacks in Barcelona and Turku".

"We will come forward very soon with a package, in order to strengthen the Schengen free travel area, including a proposal to update the Schengen Borders Code", announced European Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.

This demand will be an issue for commission president Jean Claude Juncker who said on Wednesday that the borderless travel zone was key for federalising Europe.

"It's true that occasionally terrorists do benefit from [Schengen], but the prime beneficiaries are European citizens", he said.



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