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Libération - France | Thursday, May 12, 2011

Defend the right to free movement

France is already carrying out controls on its border with Italy to prevent large numbers of North African refugees from crossing into the country. Such controls must remain an exception in the Schengen Area, writes EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding in the left-liberal daily Libération: "We must prevent governments from attempting to set up the conditions for reinstating border controls. Such a move would affect all of us and so must be approved by the institutions of the European Union. What is at stake here is the respect for the regulations of the European Union and the preservation of the rights that we have struggled hard to attain. To this effect the European Commission recently proposed that the entire rules of the Schengen Agreement be strengthened and that the biggest achievement of the EU be protected, namely the freedom of movement. After two devastating world wars, it took decades to abolish borders and create a climate of trust. Today the freedom of movement within Europe shortens distances and serves to unite us. We must assert and protect this right."

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