EU Court of Auditors rejects Brussels: “It did not protect Schengen, the Commission had to verify Covid restrictions imposed by states”

BRUSSELS. Coronavirus, not only synonymous with the health crisis but also with the EU’s existential crisis. In the name of public safety and health, free movement in the heart of the Union has been literally bad, with excessive controls, not notified in Brussels, poorly coordinated between Member States. The European Court of Auditors notes all the dysfunctions of twelve stars during one of the most delicate moments in recent history. A special report that points the finger at the EU executive, who has also done everything possible to prevent closures and suspensions of the Schengen area, that of freedom of movement. But in the chaos of the pandemic, Brussels “supervised internal border controls was limited”, with the result that virtually every member state did what it wanted.

From a legal point of view, Schengen legislation provides for controls at internal borders, therefore between one Member State and another, to be provided and a measure of last resort, with the European Commission as guardian of the Treated, she remains in charge of monitoring compliance. with EU legislation in the context of these controls. Rose water controls, however, as Luxembourg auditors argue that the Commission “did not exercise proper control” to ensure that controls at internal borders complied with Schengen free movement legislation. According to the EU Court of Auditors, notifications concerning controls at internal borders by Member States “were not accompanied by sufficient evidence to certify that controls were a measure of last resort, were proportionate and of limited duration. “. In addition, Member States “not always” notified the new border controls to the Commission. In addition, when the national authorities notified the measures taken at the border in Brussels, the reports “did not contain sufficient information”.

Therefore, the EU’s shutdown of confinement has also resulted in a suspension of the rules underlying the functioning of the Union itself. However, it must be remembered that the EU was not prepared for an unprecedented situation. At a time of great confusion, the EU executive worked primarily to ensure the functioning of the single market for goods, with the creation of special preferential lanes (known as “green lanes”) to ensure that at least supermarket shelves and pharmacies, unique The seats open to the public at the time of the general confinement were provided. Therefore, the freedom of movement of people has been relegated to the background, with von der Leyen’s team committed as before to act as a control room for sharing and distributing masks and medical supplies to member states. respirators in the center. moment of maximum health emergency, and then negotiate vaccines with pharmaceutical companies on behalf of the Twenty-seven.

Such a frantic situation that “since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Commission has not requested additional information from Member States or issued any opinions on border controls.” Excluding a situation that may also explain the conclusions of the auditors, what happened in any case is not good. “Given that the free movement of persons is one of the four fundamental freedoms guaranteed by the EU and has been at the heart of the European project since its inception, the Commission should have carefully verified that the restrictions introduced in the At the time of COVID-19, they were all relevant and justified, “said Baudilio Tomé Muguruza, a member of the EU Court of Auditors responsible for the report. Hence the three recommendations for the EU executive: to exercise “rigorous” control over internal border controls, to streamline the collection of data on travel restrictions, to provide more viable guidelines on the implementation of border controls. interior borders.

Leave a Comment