85 Civil Society Organisations Call on MEPs to Uphold Fundamental Rights and Reject the Harmful Schengen Borders Code Recast.

Despite repeated warnings from Civil Society Organisations, EU lawmakers have reached an agreement on the Schengen Borders Code reform which will be voted on in the LIBE Committee next week. The legislative file that has emerged from negotiations between the Belgian Presidency of the Council of the EU, the European Parliament and Commission will have devastating consequences for people in migration and racialised communities.

We call on MEPs in the LIBE Committee to reject the Schengen Borders Code reform and give a clear signal against legislation that undermines fundamental rights. The vote will include several concerning amendments that, taken together, will create a dangerous new system for ‘managing migration’ at Schengen borders, contribute to shrinking civic space, in particular increasing criminalisation of movement and solidarity:

  • The proposal generalises police checks with the explicit aim to prevent irregular migration. Stopping individuals who are suspected of being undocumented relies heavily on racial profiling.
  • Article 23a allows for internal pushbacks between Member States as safeguards to mitigate its consequences on fundamental rights introduced by the Parliament are removed. This article provides for the immediate “transfer” (removal) of third country nationals apprehended “in  border areas” to the country that they crossed from. 
  • The reform also repeatedly refers to the increased usage of surveillance and monitoring technologies at both internal and external borders. Technologies such as drones, motion sensors, thermal imaging cameras, and others ease the identification of people crossing borders prior to arrival and have been shown to facilitate pushbacks. 

We, the undersigned, call on MEPs to reject the Schengen Borders Code reform at both the LIBE and Plenary votes. This file expands the harmful concept of ‘instrumentalisation’, legalises internal pushbacks, risks widespread racial profiling, and enhances the use of border surveillance technologies that have been proven to facilitate fundamental rights violations.

Read full statement here


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ActionAid International
Amnesty International
Amnesty Luxembourg
Are You Syrious (AYS)
Asociacion Geum Dodou
Asociación Rumiñahui
Be Aware and Share (BAAS)
Better Days Greece
Blindspots e.V.
Center for Legal Aid, Voice in Bulgaria
Collective Aid
Comunità Papa Giovanni XXIII
CONVIVE- Fundación Cepaim
Cultural Center Danilo Kiš
Danes je nov dan / Today is a new day
Digital Society, Switzerland
Diotima Centre for Gender Rights & Equality
Draseis sth geitonia
Equal Legal Aid
Equinox Initiative for Racial Justice
EuroMed Rights
Europe Cares e.V. / Paréa Lesvos
European Center for Non-Profit Law
European Civic Forum
European Digital Rights (EDRi)
European Network Against Racism (ENAR)
European Sex Workers Rights Alliance (ESWA)
Fundación Alboan
Greek Council for Refugees (GCR)
Greek Forum of Migrants
Habibi Works (Soup and Socks e.V.)
Hermes Center
HIAS Europe
Homo Digitalis
Hope and Humanity Poland
I Have Rights
Institute Circle
Inter Alia
InterEuropean Humanitarian Aid Association Germany e.V. (IHA)
International Rescue Committee (IRC)
Irida Women’s Center
Iridia. Centro por la Defensa de Derechos Humanos
Jesuit Refugee Service Greece
KAST (Khora Asylum Support Team)
KOK – German Network against Trafficking in Human Beings
La Coordinadora de Organizaciones para el Desarrollo
Legal Centre Lesvos
Lighthouse Relief
Ligue des Droits Humains
Mec de la Rue
Mobile Info Team
Network for Children’s Rights
Northern Lights Aid
PICUM (Platform for International Cooperation on Undocumented Migrants)
Privacy International
Project Play
Refugee Legal Support (RLS)
Refugee Literacy Project
Refugees International
Safe Place Greece
Salud por Derecho
Samos Volunteers
Sea-Watch e.V.
Second Tree
Seebrücke Schweiz
Slovene Philanthropy
Society Kljuc – Centre for Fight against Trafficking in Human Beings
Stichting LOS
Yoga and Sport with Refugees
Zeitschrift Bürgerrechte & Polizei/ CILIP (Germany)