EU leaders to urge stricter border checks in counter-terror drive
Updated: 2015-02-12 10:13
BRUSSELS - European Union leaders are set to call on Thursday for stricter checks on travellers entering the passport-free Schengen area and increased information-sharing as part of a revamped counter-terrorism strategy following the Paris attacks.
Spain had suggested that the agreement governing the 26-nation Schengen zone might have to be amended to permit more border checks on people suspected of terrorist links after 17 people were killed in a wave of violence in France last month that began with an attack on satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
EU leaders meeting in Brussels later on Thursday will say that more can be done under the existing rules to strengthen checks on travellers entering or leaving the Schengen zone without changing the agreement or undermining the right to free movement within the passport-free area, which covers western Europe.
"We agree to proceed without delay to systematic and coordinated checks on individuals enjoying the right of free movement against databases relevant to the fight against terrorism," the leaders will say in a statement, according to a draft copy seen by Reuters.
EU governments have been searching for ways to stop Europeans going to fight with Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.