Shenzhen area: EU Court of Justice withdraws border control illegality

In a ruling issued on April 26, the European Court of Justice withdrew that border controls within the Shenzhen area could only be restored for a maximum of six months. Several countries, including France, have reintroduced border controls since 2015 and have increased them every six months. May 1, Paris renews this system again.

This is a verdict that reminds us that France is illegal. The European Union’s Court of Justice (CJEU) noted on Tuesday, April 26, that member states in the Shenzhen area (22 EU countries plus Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland) could only reintroduce border controls in the event of a threat. , For six months. The measure can be increased, provided that a new threat, different from the previous one, imposes it.

An Austrian court has seized a petitioner after he was fined for refusing to present his passport during a checkpoint on the Slovenian border.

Several European countries, including France, have been extending these restrictions since 2015 for the same reason: the terrorist threat to which the Covid-19 health crisis was linked in 2020. Last extension of control so far: May 1 to October 31, 2022.

“[En 2015], The restoration of border control was not shocking. But in some cases, this situation is no longer an exception and the solution is cooperation between member states. These texts provide. This is why French control should have been suspended. There, of course, it is no longer possible to support the maintenance of border controls, “Serge Slama, a professor of public law at Grenoble-Alps University, told InfoMagrants.

Controls that are legally unreasonable, however, make it possible to keep a constant eye on the movements of migrants and repatriate those trying to enter France from border countries, especially Italy and Spain. Arrests and deportations of asylum seekers are common in these highly protected areas.

No violation procedures

For the associations that have been trying since 2015 to condemn France for the illegality of this border control, the April 26 ruling by the CJEU is encouraging. “This decision supports the position that we, the associations, have maintained for years, and that the French authorities are using an exceptional measure to routineize it, which is illegal under European law,” underlined internal coordinator Emily Pesalier. Border Mission at Anafé, contacted by InfoMigrants.

Associations also hope that the CJEU judgment will give more importance to their future actions. A number of requests made by Anafe, Seamed and Gisti had no effect. In 2017 and 2019, these associations applied to the state council to try to repeal the border control extension, to no avail. In 2018, Anafé and Gisti also filed a complaint against the French authorities with the European Commission about this illegal border control, but this was not answered.

In favor of “dialogue” with member states on this highly sensitive issue, the European executive has never initiated proceedings against any country because of this check. Following the April 26 ruling, the European Commission convinced itself that it was going to analyze the court’s decision.

In December, the commission proposed a reform that would threaten to affect the majority of member states for the possibility of a general response within the Shenzhen area, such as threats to health or threats to health and public order.

At the same time, the new rules aim to “promote effective options for internal border checks” so that the latter is “a measure of last resort”.

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