25 February 2016
ECR MEPs will lead on three major EU reforms proposed to help tackle the migrant and refugee crisis.
European Conservatives and Reformists (ECR) MEPs will lead on three major EU reforms proposed to help tackle the migrant and refugee crisis.
ECR home affairs coordinator Timothy Kirkhope (UK) will be the parliament’s rapporteur for the extension of the EU’s criminal records system (ECRIS) to non-EU nationals, which will also improve how information is exchanged so that a judge can check criminal records and fingerprints across the EU in one request, rather than 27.
Monica Macovei (RO) will be rapporteur on the revision of the Schengen borders code to improve security within the EU’s Schengen zone, by obliging Member States to carry out systematic checks at Schengen’s external border on people who enjoy freedom of movement, to ensure they are not a threat to order or security.
Jussi Halla-aho (FI) will be rapporteur on the creation of a new European travel document that will make it easier to return people whose asylum application has been rejected.
Timothy Kirkhope said:
“We need to restore public confidence that we are able to monitor who comes into the EU, and to find people who could represent a threat. Checking people against our existing criminal records databases, and making exchanging that information much easier, will go a long way towards showing that we can find those people who mean us harm, amongst the vast majority who do not.”
Monica Macovei said:
“Schengen’s internal borders can only remain open if we have strong checks at its external border, making the best use of technology to detect serious criminals and those intent on causing harm whilst also minimising the disruption that most people face. The external border of Schengen is often the only opportunity we get to detect returning radicalised fighters from Syria, and we need a strong net in place to catch them.”
Jussi Halla-aho said:
“A strong and workable returns policy is also critical and to date many countries are not willing to accept returns papers that are issued by EU Member States because they are poor documents that anyone with Photoshop could produce. Having a single returns document with clear security features in place gives non-EU countries no ability to deny people being returned based on their travel documents.”
Mr Kirkhope concluded:
“We have long said that there is no single solution to this crisis, but ECR MEPs are working on practical and deliverable solutions that will help to ease it, and to strengthen Europe’s security.”
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