Security Union package/Schengen package

EESC opinion: Security Union package/Schengen package

Key points



  • highly appreciates the first activation of the Temporary Protection Directive 2001/55/EC of 20 July 2001 in the context of the Russian aggression against Ukraine. The current activation of the Directive could well be used to develop solidarity mechanisms among the Member States;
  • strongly supports an urgent need for effective, genuine, humane – and humanitarian – common European regulations on migration, asylum and security cooperation in an open, but equally secure Schengen area, in full accordance with the Charter of Fundamental Rights. The Committee highly encourages better conditions for all refugees;
  • encourages preserving and valuing the Schengen area as it is currently constituted, to guarantee not only the free movement of human beings, but also the functioning of the Single Market;
  • fully supports the Commission's position to maintain internal borders open, even during crisis situations. Any travel restrictions between Schengen states imposed as a result of crisis situations should be temporary, and not exceed possible travel restrictions inside Member States;
  • fully agrees with the Commission’s position that the use of police checks and cooperation, including information exchange and communication, have the potential to yield the same results as temporary internal border controls, and are less intrusive to the free movement of persons, goods, and services;
  • stresses the absolute need for the maintenance of the judiciary's independence, in particular in cases of the physical presence of the judicial bodies at the location of the Single Point of Contact. Moreover, civil society organisations (especially "watch dogs" or those working in the area of the protection of vulnerable groups, including migrants), should enjoy special protection with regard to providing information by Single Points of Contact;
  • calls for the introduction of more thorough and frequent control mechanisms to ensure high ethical standards when collecting and storing data by Europol, particularly in relation to third countries, as well as for setting clear time limits on the storage of this data and recommends the regular monitoring of Europol activities by civil society organisations and other relevant and potentially affected actors;
  • particularly notes the indispensable positive role of respective civil society organisations providing humanitarian help for migrants being instrumentalised by third countries, and, moreover, supporting and providing information about the rights of migrants and asylum-seekers.