Internal security minister Henri Kox (Déi Gréng) took part in the first Schengen Forum on Monday alongside European Commission and Parliament members and his counterparts in other EU member states.
Henri Kox attending the virtual Schengen Forum while European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson is seen on the screen
The Schengen Forum aims to develop a framework for ensuring a fully functioning Schengen zone, which has been under strain in light of border closures and restrictions as a response to the covid-19 pandemic.
The European Commission’s objective is to present a new Schengen strategy in autumn 2021, and the forum serves as a starting point to discuss such reform, including border and migration issues, police cooperation, etc.
During the virtual forum, Kox said, “a proper functioning of the Schengen area presupposes above all the full implementation and use of information systems in full compliance with our fundamental rights, an efficient framework for police cooperation as well as effective control at our external borders”.
Given that 2020 marks the 25th anniversary of the Schengen agreement’s entry into force, Kox emphasised that free movement was a strength and should be guaranteed in principle, with the understanding that border controls are only in place as a temporary, last-resort measure.