France and Italy push for reform of Schengen treaty

BBC News
26 April 2011

The leaders of France and Italy have said Europe’s Schengen open-border treaty should be revised.

The move by President Nicolas Sarkozy and PM Silvio Berlusconi comes after they met to discuss the recent rise in North African migration to Europe.

Italy has angered France by granting visas to thousands of migrants, allowing them to travel across Europe’s border-free Schengen zone.

About 25,000 migrants have arrived in southern Italy so far during 2011.

Many have fled unrest in North Africa, and among them are thousands of Tunisians hoping to join relatives in France.

Both Mr Berlusconi and Mr Sarkozy are facing domestic pressure from right-wing parties to curb large-scale immigration.

The Schengen treaty allows legal residents of most EU countries, plus Switzerland, Norway and Iceland to travel across the zone with only minimal border checks…

…The BBC’s Duncan Kennedy in Rome says it is a sign of the depth of the tensions created by the migration crisis that they two countries are seeking a revision of the treaty.

Neither country wants to accommodate the North Africa migrants and both want to ensure the situation is not repeated in the future, says our correspondent, so they are calling on Brussels to resolve the problem…

The entire article is at BBC News.

H/T The Astute Bloggers who remind readers of the colonial New England saying, “good fences good neighbours make.”

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