We European citizens strongly protest against the arbitrary and unanimous (all the more deplorable) move of the EU Council to exclude the European Parliament from co-decision on possible suspensions of the Schengen Treaty, thus downgrading it to an observer role and trampling on its prerogatives. In this way the Council attempts to humiliate the institution that represents the European people as a whole, arrogating to itself the power to restrict a right that many Europeans have come to cherish: the right to move freely across borders without having to show their passports, or the right to feel at home in Europe.
In condemning the arrogant and unilateral move of the Council to steer the EU towards intergovernmentalism we also denounce the pressure that was exerted on smaller or “weaker” states in order to reach unanimity – just further evidence that an intergovernmental Europe, far from safeguarding people’s sovereignty, will rather resemble more and more the Europe of Metternich.
We support the European Parliament in its struggle to regain its prerogatives and we join it in demanding a reversal of the Council’s decision.
Not far from many places where Europeans fought each other less than a century ago, and where lines and lines of white crosses now stand, the Schengen Treaty has abolished border checks. Thinking of that terrible waste of human lives that was caused by national governments we say: Keep those borders free!