Special Issue on 'Schengen'

Schengen Picture

The celebration of 30 years since the signing of the first Schengen Agreement in 1985 meant a historical opportunity to celebrate the main achievements of freedom of movement in Europe but also an occasion to look at its current challenges and shortcomings.

Within the framework of the SOURCE Project, the CEPS Centre for European Policy Studies, in collaboration with various organizations - the European Parliament, King’s College London and Sciences-Po Medialab - organized a series of two events in December – January 2016 aimed at exploring the intricacies and challenges facing the European Area of Freedom, Justice and Security.

Schengen Conf1Schengen ConfThe first event consisted of a two-day conference on ’30 years of Schengen – Challenges for the EU in times of crisis’. The conference brought together an impressive list of guest speakers from various sectors (policy-makers, academia and diplomats) with expertise ranging from freedom of movement to control of movement (border management, visas and refugees), EU Criminal Justice and Police and Intelligence Cross Border Cooperation, with touching also on the issue of EU Databases and Information Sharing. Within this framework the conference fostered an active, pluralistic debate about the Schengen Area, its achievements, challenges and ways to overcome them.


The background paper of the conference has provided an insightful, critical analysis of ‘What is happening to the Schengen borders?’ and offers a state of play in the Schengen system in light of the developments during 2015.

Download the Keynote speech of by Mr Charles Elsen former Director General, Council of Europe.

A series of very interesting and compelling video interventions with the key guest speakers at the conference dealt with the issue of Schengen from a multitude of perspectives. The video interviews can be accessed here or see below.

Following up the Policy Meeting on '30 years of Schengen - Challenges for the EU in times of crisis', Prof. Petra Bárd (Central European University) contributed to the discussion by opening a Blog post on
'The benefits of the EU from a criminal law perspective'


Schengen under pressure? Taking stock of the latest developments of the borderless Europe

SOURCE Lunchtimesource_lunchtime_28janThe second Source event in the ‘Schengen Edition’ took place at the end of January 2016. The ‘Schengen under pressure? Taking stock of the latest developments of the borderless Europe’ event consisted of a closed-door lunchtime policy meeting held at the European Parliament where, academia, policy makers and members of the civil society are expected to discuss the state of play and last developments in the Schengen System    during 2015-2016 and the way the refugee crisis has impacted the Schengen system. The discussion will deal also with the new European Commission proposal for the creation of a European Border and Costal Guard together with the most relevant developments impacting the existence of the Schengen system. In light of the current dossiers in the European Parliament and in the European Commission the discussion is very timely and offers perspectives on what is the present and future role of the EU in these policies. The list of Panellists to the meeting included: Carlos Coelho (MEP), Sergio Carrera (CEPS), Fabrice Leggeri (Frontex), Kees Groenendijk (University of Nijmegen) and Assya Kavrakova (European Citizen Action Service).

The aim of both events was to take stock of the main achievements characterizing Schengen and the Area of Freedom, Security and Justice in Europe and to foster a critical and pertinent debate around the societal security challenges facing them today. 


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