As a last resort – if, for example, a country outside the Schengen area cannot protect its external borders – Article 29 allows Member States to re-establish controls for up to six months, with extensions “no more than three times for a further period of up to six months”. This would amount to a total maximum duration of two years. The current controls have been in place for four years. France: Closing the borders would cost the French economy one billion euros a year and 10 billion euros a year after ten years because of the decline in French trade with its European neighbours MEPs do not agree with this interpretation. “We believe this is a political decision, not a legal one,” said MEP Tanja Fajon, who wrote Parliament`s position report on border controls. “The Schengen border code is clear to us. There is an absolute two-year ceiling that can only be achieved when a Schengen assessment reveals shortcomings that endanger the entire Schengen area. These conditions do not currently apply and the article 29 deadline has expired. Indeed, the current difficulties call into question the fundamental principle of the free movement of people – and, more broadly, the Schengen agreements.
The failures we have represent a deliberate threat to the Union and the European project. The disintegration of the space of freedom would destroy fundamental ideals and would also have considerable economic consequences for the continent. Firstly, Member States remain reluctant to assign EU authorities powers in sensitive areas of public opinion and are opposed to the legal scope of treaties, which underline the importance of a spirit of integration on these issues. Some states are increasingly tempted by a national retreat, as Joseph Daul (EPP) of the MEP has denounced: “In the face of the wave of immigrants arriving on our shores in precarious conditions that die at sea, our countries too often react by sharing, challenging, questioning the closure of borders of an instrument as essential to free movement as Schengen.” Europe owes its open borders to the Schengen agreements, which allow cooperation and freedom of movement in 22 of the 28 EU member states. How has the agreement contributed to a united Europe and will it survive? (03.07.2018) A short-stay visa costs 60 euros (46 USD; 66 USD) but only 35 EUROS for Russians, Ukrainians and citizens of certain other countries as part of the facilitation of issuing visas.