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30 April 2014

The reality check of the Schengen governance package

Yesterday, in the Big Crunch Presidential Debate organised by EURANET, there was a fierce discussion on the Schengen governance package. Time for a #FACTS-FIGURES-CHECK

Yesterday, in the Big Crunch Presidential Debate, there was a fierce discussion on the Schengen governance package. This package had been proposed by the Commission after France unilaterally reintroduced internal border checks at the border with Italy in April 2011, after Tunisian migrants crossed the border following the revolt that ousted the Tunisian President.

The Commission had to admit that the Member states involved did not infringe the rules, and that any Member state can unilaterally reintroduce internal borders controls.

ALDE approved a package to prevent this from happening again. There would be rules and checks to avoid any abuse or misuse of the possibility of exceptionally reintroduce controls at the internal borders. The true achievement was the strengthening of the role of the Commission, whilst before, it was a mere observer.

We've boosted the efficiency of the Schengen evaluation mechanism by entrusting the Commission to coordinate the evaluation process.

While the Greens claim to be on the right side of the argument, they voted against this package, and by doing so, signalled that they preferred the status quo with the "good old inter-governmental" system. The Greens decided to stand together with the Member States which had reservations on the new Schengen evaluation mechanism because it awards too much power to the Commission.

The Greens chose not to take responsibility as they voted against the best of two options that were realistic. The result is now we are stuck with the worst one.

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10 June 2014

Verhofstadt message to European leaders: Europe needs reform, not rejection
Guy Verhofstadt calls on EU leaders, especially Angela Merkel, David Cameron, Fredrik Reinfeldt and Mark Rutte meeting yesterday and today in Harpsund (Sweden), to focus on a clear vision of how the EU, through its economies of scale, can be a catalyst for growth in the years ahead.

27 May 2014

Guy Verhofstadt attended the liberal prime ministers' meeting today ahead of the informal European Council

Conclusion of the meeting was that the political groups of the EPP and the PES parties lost 70 seats in the May 22-25 election.This means that ALDE will be key to the formation of a stable parliamentary majority in the European parliament.

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