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MEPs block draft laws to protest Schengen reform

MEPs block draft laws to protest Schengen reform

Schengen border

(STRASBOURG) - The European parliament blocked talks with EU nations on five draft laws Thursday to protest being stripped of a say in the running of the visa-free Schengen area, its president Martin Schulz said.

Parliamentary groups across the political spectrum, with the exception of the far right, are angry at a decision by home affairs ministers last week to change the legal basis of the 26-nation Schengen area.

The change, which removes MEPs' right to take part in decisions on monitoring Schengen borders, has set the 752-seat assembly on a collision course with the European Union's member states.

Some MEPs have threatened to lodge an appeal with the European Court of Justice.

Schulz said the parliament would suspend negotiations on five draft laws "in response to a far-reaching decision" by the ministers.

"This is unprecedented in the 18 years since I was elected to parliament," he said.

Conservative Joseph Daul, who heads the largest group in the parliament, said this week that his group would boycott Denmark, which as current rotating EU president was deemed responsible for the move.

"The Danish presidency has broken a bond of trust with this parliament," he said.

In a landmark move the same day, the ministers also agreed to empower countries to temporarily restore frontier checks in the borderless travel zone in case of a surge of illegal migrants.

Further information, European Parliament

Legislative Observatory file (internal border controls)

Legislative Observatory file (Schengen evaluation mechanism)

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