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Thursday, 5th May 2011

Schengen area under pressure: controversial responses and worrying signs

Source: European Policy Centre

Hopes deriving from the “Arab Spring” have been accompanied by concerns of how to manage migration flows. This question has quickly become extremely contentious and, to a certain extent, it has overshadowed the reality taking place in Tunisia and Egypt, where new political systems based on democracy are being created, and the extremely worrying situations in Libya and Syria.

Since the beginning of the popular revolutions in North Africa, frightening scenarios including that of a “biblical exodus” have been heralded by some European leaders. Despite wild overestimations of new arrivals and political rhetoric some responses to the situation have been taken. At European level, financial and operational support is being provided to both sides of the Mediterranean. Responses at national level have been more questionable as Italy and France have begun a strange and unclear game, the latest development of which is the signature of a joint letter by Silvio Berlusconi and Nicolas Sarkozy asking for the modification of Schengen rules. These developments need analysis to better understand Schengen's functioning and demonstrate that the proposed modifications might severely undermine the whole philosophy of the system.

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Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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