In an emergency meeting Friday (November 20th) morning called in response to last week’s Paris terrorist attacks, European justice ministers agreed to step up border controls for European citizens entering the E.U., and to begin steps towards better intelligence sharing.
According to the EU newsletter, EU member states will call for systematic controls of EU citizens at the bloc's external borders and for full use of available technology to counter terrorism inside the Schengen area. For the time being, they are subjected only to "a minimum check" consisting of a rapid and straightforward verification, according to the Schengen borders code.
Frontex, an EU agency established to reinforce and streamline cooperation between national border authorities, will also contribute to the fight against terrorism and support the coordinated implementation of the Common Risk Indicators (CRIs) before the end of 2015. The agency will be asked to assist the member states to tighten controls of external borders to detect suspicious travels of foreign terrorist fighters and smuggling of firearms, in cooperation with Europol.
The economic impacts of restricting trade lanes may be significant. According to the procurement agency Beroe, 75% of E.U. freight trade moves by road. Checking immigration documents for truckers, potentially at multiple borders per day, could be costly. Even before Friday’s meeting, there was already evidence of the effects of tighter border security on European trade. When Germany and Austria set up temporary border controls in September, traffic jams were reported.
We advise our members to be aware of the impacts of upcoming tightening border controls on the European freight transport market. The council has also outlined all their initiatives regarding information sharing, financing terrorism, criminal justice, funding and implementation on their website.
To find more information please visit: http://dsms.consilium.europa.eu/952/Actions/Newsletter.aspx?messageid=2257&customerid=24087&password=enc_3830393839313538_enc