Battle for the Soul of Europe

The free movement of people in Europe is underwritten by the Schengen Agreement, but EU governments are increasingly moving back towards immigration checks between their countries.

The removal of unfettered travel across the continent will be a blow to one of the cornerstones of a united, integrated Europe.

According to reports it is being pushed primarily by France and Italy, but supported by 15 of the 22 EU states signed up to Schengen.

What has triggered the attack on the Schengen Agreement is fear of another wave of Muslim immigrants from north Africa. But what it has done was to raise the profile of the populist right parties slowly developing in many EU countries.

Passenger Name Records

The Immigration Minister made a statement in the House of Commons on 11 May 2011 to confirm that the Government has decided to opt into the EU Directive on Passenger Name Records.

The justification for doing so was to assist law enforcement agencies to prevent, detect, and investigate terrorist and other criminal activities.

This means that passenger data collected by air carriers as part of the operation of their business will be collected and monitored by EU governments. Air carriers will not be required to collect any more data than they already collect as part of an ordinary business transaction.

The data...

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