30 million Romanians, Bulgarians & Croatians to have border checks lifted by the EU

Facts4EU.Org looks at the implications for Brexit Britain

Montage © Facts4EU.Org 2022

Years after qualifying, these countries will join EU’s shattered Schengen free movement zone

On Wednesday (16 Nov 2022) the EU Commission formally called on the EU Council to lift all border controls and checks with three member countries totalling just under 30 million people.

Two of these countries – Romania and Bulgaria - were first approved by the EU Commission 11 years ago but the Council declined to agree that border controls should be lifted. Now, with the backing of a resolution from the EU Parliament, these countries plus Croatia will finally get their wish at a meeting of EU Council ministers on 08 December.

The significance for the United Kingdom

  1. Illegal migrants, people traffickers, and terrorists
  2. The hypocrisy of the EU over the Northern Ireland border

Internal border checks within the EU help to ensure that illegal migrants, criminals, and terrorists can be detected at borders and can be questioned and apprehended.

Given the poor record of Romania and Bulgaria in relation to crime, corruption, and people trafficking as set out in the EU Commission’s regular ‘country reports’, it is perhaps not surprising that the other EU member countries were not keen to lift border checks with people from these countries. This approval has so far been withheld by the EU Council for 11 years but now it seems inevitable that next month they will have to approve these countries, plus Croatia.

With the crisis of illegal migrants crossing the Channel to the UK in ever-increasing numbers now dominating headlines, anything which makes it easier for ‘the wrong elements’ to join the crowds on northern French shores must be of some concern to the authorities.

Secondly, today we show how the EU’s precious Schengen Zone has been fractured and dysfunctional for years, with “hard borders” being imposed unilaterally by EU member countries across the bloc, against EU law. This contrasts with the EU’s obsession over the Northern Ireland border.

“Schengen enjoys overwhelming support of the European population and Bulgarian, Romanian, and Croatian citizens must enjoy their rights with no further delays. I call on the Council to take the necessary decisions to allow these three countries to join fully the area without controls at internal borders.”

- Ylva Johansson, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs, Brussels, 16 Nov 2022

30 million people joining an already shattered EU ‘Schengen area’

Whilst the EU Commission describes its Schengen area as “one of the greatest achievements” of the EU, the reality over the past 15 years has been very different.

All member countries of the Schengen area are supposed to have no border controls with neighbouring EU countries. In exceptional circumstances they may introduce these temporarily for a period of no more than six months. In reality the ‘exceptions’ have entirely outweighed ‘the rules’. Below we show just how dysfunctional the Schengen area has become.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

The EU’s famous ‘rule of law’ is now bordering on the ridiculous

  • Total number of ‘exceptions’ notified to the EU Commission : 348 since 2006
  • Total number this year (2022) already : 34

[Source: EU Commission, Nov 2022.]

The situation has got so bad that the European Court of Justice (CJEU) ruled in April that temporary reintroductions of border controls may not last longer than six months per announced threat. This has been ignored by member country governments.

If the EU genuinely were an organisation founded on “the rule of law” as it claims, then the EU Commission would be taking action against all countries involved. The daily fines which would be imposed by the CJEU would be enormous.

The EU Commission has taken no action at all.

Here is how the EU presents the Schengen Zone

© EU Commission (click to enlarge)

Brexit Facts4EU.Org Summary

How the EU ideologues' fantasies have hit the hard borders of reality

The EU's Schengen Zone fantasy
This is our map of how the EU presents the Schengen Zone
(click here for the official version)

And this is the real Schengen Zone
The Schengen reality

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

© Brexit Facts4EU.Org - click to enlarge

It currently involves 22 EU countries : Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia, as well as 4 associated non-EU countries : Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and Liechtenstein. The Republic of Ireland maintains an opt-out.

The Schengen code is a fundamental part of one of the EU’s “Four Freedoms”, as it involves free movement.

Maps created by the Facts4EU.Org team, using mapchart.net

The French were the first to break the Schengen Zone

It may not surprise readers to learn that France was the first country to break the Schengen Zone. In 2006 they closed the land border with Spain as a result of Basque youth protests in South-West France.

This event is included in the EU Commission’s official list of “Member States’ notifications of the temporary reintroduction of border control at internal borders”.

What is the EU’s supposedly borderless ‘Schengen area’?

The EU continues to claim – erroneously - on its website that “The Schengen area is the largest free-travel area in the world”.

As we have shown above, this is simply not true. Border controls exist on the vast majority of internal EU borders between member countries, completely against EU law and a ruling from the European Court of Justice (CJEU).


The EU's "theatre of the absurd"

In one sense our report today is about the EU theatre of the absurd. The EU’s Schengen area is completely broken and has been for many years. On the other hand the EU Commission is always looking for propaganda wins, and the notional opening up of borders with three more EU countries gives it that opportunity.

The reality is that the ideological mission of the fanatics in Brussels has come against the brutal reality of EU member countries' need to defend themselves.

Two particular elements of EU Commission hypocrisy stand out, we suggest

The first is that 'hard borders' now exist everywhere in the EU, while the EU Commission has taken a completely different and aggressive approach to the border between Northern Ireland and the Republic. The irony is that no hard border is needed at all on that island.

The second is that for years the Commission has been turning a blind eye to the flagrant flouting of EU law over one of its major "achievements". At the same time it has repeatedly lectured and threatened the United Kingdom about obeying laws.

Despite all its protestations, the EU is clearly not an organisation based on "the Rule of Law".

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[ Sources: EU Commission | EU Council | EU Parliament ] Politicians and journalists can contact us for details, as ever.

Brexit Facts4EU.Org, Fri 18 Nov 2022

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