Nov 22

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Mea Culpa – Paris attacks show flawed use of Schengen rules?

A ‘mea culpa’ emerged from the emergency meeting on security matters on Friday (20 November), as EU member states acknowledged they did not use all the tools at their disposal to address the terrorist threats. Read the EurActiv.com article by Jorge Valero along with some key expressions to know. Questions for You:

Which expression is used to describe that Luxembourg is currently holding the EU Presidency? Which EU institution held its meeting on Friday (20 November)?

French infantry patrolling Paris.  [Gwenael Piaser/Flickr]

Terrorists with EU passports, such as the majority of the militants involved in the Paris attacks, represent a major challenge for the European authorities, as controls at the external borders are limited to a minimum check to establish their identity, through the verification (=inspection) of their travel documents, according to Schengen rules.

Although the set of common risk indicators remains secret for security reasons, it allows member states to carry out systematic controls on all EU citizens arriving from a particular third country, or to all flights arriving into a particular member state. The ministers agreed on making these checks mandatory. Moreover, all EU citizens will be now considered a potential threat, so all EU travellers will be subject to a stricter scrutiny (=control), including checks against the Schengen Information System (SIS), as is the case for all third country nationals. …

France asked for the crisis meeting with three requests on the agenda: bolstering (=strengthening) external border controls, setting up of a European Passenger Name Record (PNR) and the fight against the illegal trafficking of weapons. … Besides the loopholes =(flaws in the law) in the external border controls, ministers also emphasised that member states should improve their exchange of intelligence. Officials estimate that five member states share “half of the information” related to foreign terrorists, while the other capitals barely engage in the exchange of information. Therefore, the ministers agreed on making “maximum use” of the Schengen tools to improve the overall level of information exchange between counter-terrorism authorities in the EU.

You may read the whole article HERE.


Question 1: Luxembourg is currently holding the EU Presidency = It is at the EU’s helm this semester
Question 2: EU ministers of Justice and Home Affairs = Justice and Home Affairs Council
  (a configuration of the  Council of the European Union)
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Permanent link to this article: https://www.euenglish.hu/2015/11/mea-culpa-paris-attacks-show-flawed-use-of-schengen-rules/

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