Schengen is under pressure. That’s what EU Commission admits with some difficulty. It is not surprising. We are living in a Europe of national egoisms that prevent EU integration and reception. While Angela Merkel in her speech for the end of the year mentions migrants as opportunities, not all European leaders seem to agree on that. The German prime minister appears quite lonely in her impulses towards integration and welcome of the refugees.
After few days from her speech, Sweden government decides to reintroduce borders checks for commuters coming from Denmark. Then Denmark decided to take the same measures with Germany. Who is crossing the Oresund bridge between Denmark and Sweden by train or bus must showing documents , except who is arriving by car, for now.
It seems to be a chain reaction that could eventually affect freedom of movement in Europe, a symbol of the European Union.
“We are working to bring the situation back to normality through a series of measures. But no one has a magic wand”. EU Commission spokesperson Margaritis Schinas said .
The future of freedom of movement worries the EU Commission and that’s why the Commission decided to have an urgent meeting with Denmark, Sweden and Germany representatives of government to discuss how to manage the flow of migrants . EU Commission is checking the legal basis of the reintroduction by the Sweden Government of a law obligating transport companies to chek documents. In the meantime, the EU Commission published the state of play of European strategy on immigration and data about relocations plan are alarming : since September there have been only 190 relocation of 39.600 from Italy and only 82 of 66.400 from Greece. In total, repatriations were 683. The aim , still far, should be to relocate at least 160 thousand of migrants, at the moment these are the results.
After the meeting between Denmark, Sweden and Germany governments, the EU Commissioner for Immigration Dimitris Avramopoulos said there is agreement on protect Schengen system and that measures taken by the governments will go on only until there is need. However, there is no commitment on the duration of borders checks. The Secretary of State, Ole Schroeder, underlined the need to implement EU laws on immigration and asylum seekers “otherwise member states will continue to give individual answers”.
Sweden asks to respect the principle of Dublin regulation and to take measures to slow down migrants flow.
“Schengen is not only the greatest success of the story of European integration, but the purest symbol of a united Europe. – the President of Socialists and Democrats at EU Parliament Gianni Pittella said – Once this symbol is destroyed, the whole of Europe is at risk of collapse. In the meantime, refugees, women and children continue to die between Turkey and Greece and populists across Europe are gaining more support surfing on the wave of fear. European political leaders must now take this crucial issue in their own hands. The future of Europe is at stake”.
Between May and October, according to Eurostat data, Europe registered 729 thousand of asylum seekers applications , 82% come from individuals younger than 34 years. As recently reported by Economist, their median age is around half that of Germans, 46 years. Many have secondary schooling and some even university level education, especially Syrians.
Europe suffers of a skill-gap in different sectors Germany alone needs 173 thousand of workers with competences in mathematics, IT sector and natural sciences.
This lack of workers in some sectors could quadruple in 2020.