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France urges EU members to 'scrupulously' respect Schengen rules

AFP , Sunday 13 Sep 2015
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve
French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve. (Photo: Reuters)
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France on Sunday called for the "scrupulous respect by all European Union countries" of rules setting out the bloc's borderless Schengen zone as Germany reinstated border checks in the face of a record influx of refugees.

"These rules, in particular, require the registration of migrants in the country where they crossed the (EU's) external borders," French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said in a statement after speaking with his German counterpart.

Because some countries have not kept to these rules "Germany has decided to temporarily establish border controls", he added.

French President Francois Hollande and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also discussed the latest developments in the migrant crisis in a phone call late Sunday.

The two leaders "share the same evaluation of the current situation of the refugees" and agreed that both countries would work together to prepare for Monday's EU interior and justice ministers' meeting on the issue, a spokeswoman for the German government said in a statement.

Germany made the decision to reimpose border controls after admitting it could no longer cope with a record influx of refugees. The city of Munich alone recorded an influx of 63,000 asylum seekers in two weeks.

The move effectively suspends participation of Europe's economic powerhouse in the 28-nation bloc's borderless system, one of the cornerstones of the European integration project since it was created in the 1990s.

In setting up the controls Merkel has apparently backtracked on an earlier decision to throw open the country's doors to Syrian refugees.

Under the Schengen agreement, temporary border controls are allowed for reasons of "public policy or internal security".

France's anti-EU, far-right National Front on Sunday party urged France's leaders to "suspend urgently the Schengen agreement and re-establish its borders, especially with Germany."

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