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Der Tagesspiegel - Germany | Friday, December 6, 2013

Restricting freedom of movement is pointless

Individual EU states may in certain cases be allowed to reintroduce visa restrictions for the citizens of Balkan states, the EU interior ministers decided at the behest of Germany and other countries on Thursday in Brussels. For the liberal daily Der Tagesspiegel, such restrictions of freedom of movement are pointless: "Acceptance will only come on a voluntary basis, in the context of a mutual learning process. This includes gaining an understanding of the indeed difficult situation of the Roma in Romania and Bulgaria, and also in Germany. It also includes the realisation that summarily introduced European legal principles won't lead to successful integration. ... Potential acceptance problems arise when the general principle of European freedom of movement collides with the welfare state mindset that is more prevalent in some EU states than in others. To this extent it's nothing but symbolic politics when the German interior minister continues to block Bulgaria's and Romania's accession to the Schengen zone. Those who want to get to Germany won't be put off by a barrier at the border."

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