Opinion & Analysis

An Assessment of the State of the EU Schengen Area and its External Borders

A Merited Trust Model to Uphold Schengen Legitimacy

Sergio Carrera / Davide Colombi / Roberto Cortinovis

Commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, this study assesses the state of play of the EU Schengen area and the latest legal and policy developments with direct relevance to the Schengen acquis. It analyses the impact of these developments, and the role of ‘declared crisis’, on the Schengen Borders Code, Luxembourg Court standards and EU Treaty principles and fundamental rights. The study calls for an approach based on ‘merited or deserved trust’ to uphold the legitimacy of the Schengen area. Such an approach should focus on the effective and timely enforcement of EU rules and Treaty values – chiefly the rule of law and fundamental rights – instead of expanding intra-EU policing and the proliferation of technological surveillance and databases leading to the (in)securitisation of people’s freedom of movement.

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