Another sign that the EU, which was guaranteed to be a failure on a biblical scale, is doing just that.
European Union nations in a landmark move Thursday agreed to enable countries to temporarily restore border checks in the visa-free Schengen area in the case of a surge of illegal migrants.
Shrugging off opposition from Brussels and triggering fury in the European parliament, home affairs ministers unanimously agreed to dust off the border posts should there be excessive pressure from would-be migrants.
France and Germany, which had argued in favour of the change, have said the measure would only apply in extreme cases.
New French socialist Interior Minister Manuel Valls, taking part in his first such talks, said he had backed the accord because it allowed “adressing serious situations that can arise” such as many people fleeing a worsening crisis in Syria.
Currently, the 26-nation Schengen treaty allows renewal of border controls in case of a terror threat or security threats thrown up by sports or other events. Poland for instance is restoring checks for the Euro 2012 tournament.
But under the new rules, a state within the Schengen area could reimpose border controls for six months, renewable for another six, “when the control of an external border is no longer ensured due to exceptional circumstances”.
“The situation on the Greek-Turkish border shows that we need a very clear action mechanism in the Schengen area,” said the Austrian minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner.
Illegal immigration has emerged as one of Europe’s most sensitive political issues amid the debt crisis, slow growth and mounting unemployment.
But there was anger both in Brussels and among MEPs.
“Free movement within an area without internal borders is a pillar of the European Union — one of its most tangible benefits,” said parliamentary president Martin Schulz.