French President Emmanuel Macron salutes local authorities as he arrives at the 'Centre de cooperation policiere et douaniere' (CCPD, Franco-Spanish Police and Customs Cooperation Center) during a visit on the strengthening of border controls at the crossing between Spain and France, at Le Perthus, France November 5, 2020. (Photo: Reuters)
President Emmanuel Macron on Thursday called for a strengthening of border controls in the European Union's Schengen zone following recent Islamist attacks in France and Austria.
Macron, speaking during a visit to France's border with Spain, said that France alone will bolster its border controls by doubling police numbers to 4,800.
The increased controls would target illegal immigration amid "a growing terrorism threat", he said.
"I am in favour of an in-depth re-foundation of Schengen to re-think its organisation and beef up our common border security," Macron added.
France, home to Europe's largest Muslim community, has been hit by a string of militant attacks in recent years.
A knife-wielding Tunisian man shouting "Allahu Akbar" (God is Greatest) beheaded a woman and killed two other people in a church in the French city of Nice on Oct. 30.
France has deployed thousands of soldiers to protect important sites such as places of worship and schools, and France's security alert is at its highest level.