The European Union is strengthening its borders

Christiane Taubira (de dos) et Bernard Cazeneuve à Bruxelles, vendredi, lors d'un Conseil extraordinaire réunissant les ministres de l'Intérieur et de la Justice européens.

Christiane Taubira (back) and Bernard Cazeneuve in Brussels on Friday at an extraordinary Council bringing together the ministers of Interior and Justice of the European Photo credit:. EMMANUEL DUNAND / AFP

The Twenty-Eight have also agreed to share data on air passengers, PNR via the file, and curb trafficking of firearms.

A week after the attacks in Paris, the input and output of Europe promise to be more complicated: the twenty-eight capitals have agreed Friday to implement “immediate and systematic checks Coordinated necessary “on the EU external border, including for EU passport holders. The decision of the Ministers of the Interior seems a late surrender to common sense. But it bypasses otherwise contradicts the spirit of what is twenty years since the iron law of the Schengen: legal almost impossible to push the examination of the passport of a citizen of the EU beyond the “single audit” or “quick and simple examination” under Article 7 of the Border Code. Terrorists Friday 13, French or Belgians went through Syria, eventually breaking an old taboo European.

This is an unexpected success and most immediate impact ripped off by Bernard Cazeneuve his colleagues asked to put their actions in keeping with their promise of assistance. It should be followed by a second step forward: the agreement by the end of the year on a rewrite of Article 7 of the Schengen Code. It will then be to transform the emergency regime in permanent tightening. It is only through a legal technicality that the border guards, the North Cape to Malta and the island of Lesbos, today can confront any passport to police databases, Europol and services national intelligence. The first safety net is tightening slightly on the borders of the EU, subject to making such human and financial resources. But it is surely not enough. The Interior Minister was careful to confirm his peers: France will maintain the controls at its borders “as long as the threat of terrorism will require the (…) It is the protection and security of the French in a high-threat environment, “he said. In other words, the European trial still to convert. Finally, we must “come out empty promises, procrastination and delays.”

The establishment of a European register of European passengers (PNR), on the American model, is the second challenge. Again, the stated goal Friday in Brussels is to reach a political agreement before the end of the year. It is to know that flies, when and with whom, from, to and within Europe itself, time of booking and in real time. It’s missing the prism to keep track of the comings and goings of terrorist suspects in the sky of the Old Continent. This would be aggregate data already collected any airline. For police officers, the absence of monitoring is all the more infuriating that companies have been obliged since 2001 to provide the same information to US authorities on all their flights through the United States. For four years, the EU directive project is the hostage of a minority Parliament, anxious to ensure the confidentiality of private information.

A PNR covering even the intra-European flights

The Twenty-Eight, supported by Juncker Commission, pledged Friday on a “PNR” covering all flights – including intra-European – and retaining the information for at least one year. It remains to convince MEPs of these two specific advances in a long debate poisoned by the revelations about the NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. “No European citizen would understand that there continues to be an obstacle, especially as the fight against terrorism obviously contributes to the protection of individual freedoms,” insists Bernard Cazeneuve.

The last “advanced high “reported by the French Minister relates to the trafficking of firearms, the assault rifle AK-47, a mat of the terrorist arsenal. Interior Ministers wanted to act on several fronts. Stocks, the Balkans, often inherited from the wars in the former Yugoslavia. Trade, flourishing on the Internet. And also the “neutralization” of weapons allegedly destined for collectors: the standards and techniques of decommissioning varies within the EU and sometimes just buy legally in two countries to restore an automatic weapon in perfect condition.

The agreement with Turkey on the fate of Syrians are still waiting

The enrollment of Turkey as a guard -frontière of Europe, facing an exodus of the Aegean Sea, slow to materialize: the date of the decisive summit between President Erdogan and twenty eight Heads of State and Government of the EU remains unresolved well than hoped before the end of the month. Recep Tayyip Erdogan wants to get the European commitment on three points: a non-refundable aid of about 3 billion euros, regular summits with the Twenty-Eight full and prompt clearance of discussions on joining the EU. Seen from Brussels, the contract remains white page on the Turkish side Ankara binds neither the numbers nor on the timing of a plan to “fix” in Turkey over 2 million Syrian refugees. And President of the European Council does not intend to issue the invitations to sign before the agreement is precisely sealed.

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