The EU must strengthen its internal and external borders to counter the threat of extremism, Emmanuel Macron said yesterday during a visit to his country’s frontier with Spain.
The French president “is calling for a rethink on free movement in the EU after a spate of suspected Islamist terror attacks”, the BBC reports.
“I am in favour of a deep overhaul of Schengen,” Macron said, referring to the system of free movement between 26 European countries without passports, identity cards or border checks. The EU must “rethink its organisation” and “strengthen our common border security with a proper border force”, he added.
“Europe is reeling from two attacks in the past week that involved assailants who moved freely between Schengen member states,” Reuters reports.
On Monday, a gunman killed four people in Vienna, after travelling to Slovakia in July to buy ammunition. And the man who killed three people in a church in Nice last Thursday had travelled from Tunisia to Italy via the island of Lampedusa before crossing into France a few days before the attack.
“Macron said the recent attacks were a warning to Europe that ‘the terrorist risk is everywhere’,” the Daily Mail reports.
The French leader – who has spoken of a clash between radical Islam and the West – said he would unilaterally double the size of his country’s border force from 2,400 to 4,800 officers. France reimposed border controls after the 2015 Bataclan attacks, under an exception from the Schengen Agreement.
Macron “also wants the EU to have a single asylum policy to end the rows that have paralysed its policymaking during a years-long migrant crisis”, Reuters adds.