Well this is a shame, and something of a step backwards in the unification of a European superstate.
European interior ministers agree to 'radical revision' of Schengen amid fears of a flood of migrants from north Africa
European nations moved to reverse decades of unfettered travel across the continent when a majority of EU governments agreed the need to reinstate national passport controls amid fears of a flood of immigrants fleeing the upheaval in north Africa.
In a serious blow to one of the cornerstones of a united, integrated Europe, EU interior ministers embarked on a radical revision of the passport-free travel regime known as the Schengen system to allow the 26 participating governments to restore border controls.
They also agreed to combat immigration by pressing for "readmission accords" with countries in the Middle East and north Africa to send refugees back to where they came from.
The policy shift was pushed by France and Italy, who have been feuding and panicking in recent weeks over a small influx of refugees from Tunisia. But 15 of the 22 EU states which had signed up to Schengen supported the move, with only four resisting, according to officials and diplomats present.
The issue will be discussed at a summit of EU prime ministers and presidents next month. But the "reforms" of the Schengen system also need to go through the European parliament, where there is likely to be strong resistance to empowering national governments to reinstate controls.
The border-free region embraces more than 400m people in 22 EU countries, as well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Iceland. It extends from Portugal to Russia's borders on the Baltic, and from Reykjavik to Turkey's border with Greece.
The move to curb freedom of travel came as the extreme nationalist right, which is increasingly influencing policy across Europe, chalked up a notable victory in Denmark, which announced it would unilaterally re-erect controls on its borders with Germany and Sweden.
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