France and Germany push to tighten the borders of the European Union after the attacks – National

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div id=””> France and Germany pushed earlier this week to tighten the borders of the European Union to avoid what French President Emmanuel Macron called the “threat of terrorism” after suspected Islamist militants killed eight people in Paris , Nice and Vienna in a month.The attacks refocused the EU’s attention on religious extremism, which rose to the top of the political agenda following the defeat of Islamic State forces in the Middle East in 2017.

Under pressure to beef up security and reassure voters in the wake of the latest attacks, Macron and German Chancellor Angela Merkel have said the Schengen area troubled with unchecked travel over open borders urgently needs to be fixed.

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The Nice and Vienna attacks involved assailants who moved freely between Schengen countries.

“The threat of terrorism hangs over all of Europe. We have to respond, ”Macron said after discussing the issue with Merkel, Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte and senior officials in Brussels, the EU’s hub.

“Reforming Schengen means allowing free movement in security.”








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Merkel sided with Macron in demanding tighter controls along the external border of the Schengen area, which brings together 26 countries, including most of the EU members, as well as Iceland, Norway , Switzerland and Liechtenstein.

“It is essential to know who is entering and who is leaving the Schengen area,” she said.

National security concerns, the chaotic migration to the EU from the Middle East and Africa in recent years and more recently the coronavirus pandemic have led to the re-emergence of some border controls in the Schengen area – eroding which has been hailed as a milestone in the integration of Europe after World War II.

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Austrian Kurz also called for a more coordinated plan to deal with foreign activists while Dutch Prime Minister Rutte pointed to halting “junk” foreign funding as an additional means of tackling extremism.

Other ideas include imposing stricter requirements on online platforms to combat extremism, creating a special European institute to train Muslim imams, and the ability to effectively deport people without demand for asylum in Europe as well as suspected criminals and extremists.

Police officers attend the French President's visit to the border between France and Spain, during which he announced that the number of border guards would be doubled to 4,800 from 2,400
Police officers attend the French President’s visit to the border between France and Spain, during which he announced that the number of border guards would be doubled to 4,800 from 2,400 “due to the worsening of the terrorist threat.


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EU justice and home ministers meet on Friday – the fifth anniversary of the coordinated attacks in Paris in which Islamist gunmen killed more than 130 people – to discuss a joint security response to the latest incidents .

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Improving security data sharing and strengthening the Union Frontex border force are also on the EU’s to-do list, according to their draft decision, which was seen by Reuters.

Especially for Macron, the ministerial decision includes wording strengthening the rights of EU countries to temporarily suspend free movement across Schengen borders during security alerts. France has put in place such restrictions on free movement since 2015.

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But many of the proposals currently on the table have proven difficult to accept, let alone implement, suggesting that the EU’s 27 national leaders will find it difficult to rack their brains when they need to decide on concrete measures in this regard. December.

The discussion of tougher security measures comes as the bloc’s executive has made efforts for a “fresh start” on another sensitive debate within the bloc – immigration.

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Brussels offered last summer to resolve years of arguments over how to deal with new arrivals by pushing for tighter border controls, tighter asylum control and effective returns of those who are not. eligible – but also a warmer welcome for refugees and legal immigrant workers on the aging continent.


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The 27 EU ministers are due to debate these proposals on Friday. Commenting on the latest attacks, the EU’s top migration official, Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, said on Tuesday that the two debates should not be confused.

“It is important that we are not afraid of migration, especially not of migrants,” said the Swede in a speech.

“We have to manage the migration, but the migration in itself is not a security threat. There can be dangerous individuals – among migrants but also among people who already live here.

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“Migration as such is not dangerous,” Johansson said.



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