Unveiling a “roadmap” to end border controls reintroduced by member states because of the migrant crisis, the European Union has decided to restore the Schengen passport-free travel area by the end of 2016. Brussels called for the creation of an EU coastguard force by the summer, help for Greece to strengthen its external border, and to ensure the cooperation of Turkey in stemming the flow of migrants.
The plan was announced as figures showed that a record 1.25 million asylum seekers arrived in the EU in 2015, more than double the figure from the previous year.
“Let me be crystal clear on the ultimate objective of today’s roadmap,” EU Migration Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos said at a news conference. “It is to move from unilateral decisions on reintroduction of border controls towards a coordinated approach, and to lift all internal border controls by the end of this year,” he added.
Passport-free travel from Iceland to Greece, is under threat as Eight countries in the 26-nation passport-free Schengen area have reintroduced border controls.
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