European border security in the era of terrorism

Countries within the Euro zone do not enforce border controls within Europe and instead focus their efforts on external borders. This Schengen Area comprises of 26 European countries that have removed passport controls and effectively any border controls. The attacks in Paris and the subsequent arrests in France, Belgium and Germany have raised some concerns on whether the Schengen agreement has enhanced or detracted from security within Europe. The European Union establishment sees the rise of this discord amongst the citizens as a threat to the long standing plans of the common union. They point out many of the security benefits that have come about with this agreement and push to further enhance powers of the EU security and government organizations. The individual countries and their citizens may not agree, but they are party to this accord – with or without the threats from terrorism.

Can Europe combat terrorists within the “Schengen Area”?

Can Europe combat terrorists within the “Schengen Area”?

“In conclusion, European cooperation with third countries in which terrorists are likely to travel must be improved – for example Turkey and North African countries – and also with the USA. A globalised movement of police and judicial cooperation must be promoted to increase Europeans’ safety, against a movement of unrealistic and ineffective focus on national borders.

An improved application of the Schengen Area’s operating rules is without doubt possible, to enable its member countries and the EU to withstand terrorist threats. Questioning these rules does not in any way impede freedom of movement, a right granted since the Rome Treaty to all EU residents, regardless of whether or not their country is a member of the Schengen Area. Yet this would make the exercise of this right much more complex and costly, while undermining the shared responsibility that Europeans require in order to dismantle terrorist networks.” (EurActiv)