Grande-Marlaska calls on the EU to ensure that the reform of the Borders Code "does not undermine the essence of Schengen" with internal controls

News - 10.6.2022

"It is not by undermining the essence of Schengen that we will strengthen our security, unless not all member states are thought to be alike," he told his European counterparts at the Home Affairs Council meeting.

Grande-Marlaska pointed out that regretfully the wording of the text does not strike "a fair balance" between the free movement of people and security. "Freedom of movement and the absence of internal border controls is absolutely compatible with security. However, as the proposal currently stands, internal border controls will not be an exception but will become an equally valid option", he added.

Regarding the negotiations for a future pact on migration and asylum, the minister positively welcomed the "Political Declaration on Solidarity", approved this Friday, as "a first step towards consolidating the principle that maritime immigration should be considered a shared responsibility of the European Union". The proposal is in line with the position of the MED5, the group of Mediterranean countries comprising Cyprus, Greece, Italy, Malta and Spain, which met on 4 June in Venice.

In the debate on Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard agency, Grande-Marlaska advocated boosting the agency's preventive resources for cooperation with third countries of origin and transit of migratory flows as soon as possible. "We look forward to the negotiation and signing of agreements with West African countries, which will lead to better cooperation, not only in the area of borders, but also in the area of readmissions," he said.

Counter-radicalisation and bilateral meetings

Prior to the meeting of the Council of Ministers for Home Affairs, Grande-Marlaska also took part in the meeting of the Anti-Terrorism Advisory Group which, among other matters, discussed the dissemination of extremist ideology on the Internet.

The minister announced that the Spanish Presidency of the European Union in 2023 will include radicalisation on the Internet as one of its priorities in the area of Home Affairs. "In this line, last May we set up the Forum against disinformation campaigns in the field of National Security, with the aim of combating disinformation campaigns and identifying strategies to deal with them in a comprehensive and coordinated manner," he said.

Grande Marlaska made the most of his visit to Luxembourg to hold bilateral meetings with the Swedish Minister for Integration and Migration, Anders Ygeman, to address issues of common interest during the upcoming Swedish Presidency of the EU in the first half of 2023; and with the Portuguese Minister for Home Affairs, José Luis Pereira, as a first contact after his recent appointment to the Portuguese government.

Non official translation