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The Irish Times - Ireland | Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Defend Schengen Agreement

EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Cecilia Malmström will present her plans for EU refugee policy today. In the dispute over how to deal with Tunisian refugees French President Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Berlusconi had demanded border controls within the Schengen Area. The liberal conservative daily The Irish Times calls on politicians to respect the Schengen Agreement: "Mass migrations can be headed off by a generous and imaginative political, economic and humanitarian response by the EU to its southern neighbours. Europeans need to realise that a fortress approach will do more harm than good. Demographic trends in the EU mean more migration will be required to replenish labour supply, and political leaders have a responsibility to explain this. That includes the European Commission, which oversees Schengen ... Its initial response to the Franco-Italian proposal raised the possibility of reinstating some border controls. That would be a slippery slope, opening up the dangerous prospect of a politically driven competition for tighter restrictions, which could undermine the whole project."

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