EU proposes rules for curbs on passport-free travel

September 16, 2011 13:52

BRUSSELS - European Union states could see border checks with their neighbors restored in the future if they persistently fail to protect the EU's external frontier, legislative proposals by the EU executive showed on Friday.

The plans unveiled by the European Commission propose new rules on conducting border controls in the EU's passport-free Schengen zone to address mounting concern in parts of Europe over illegal immigration, notably from North Africa.

Several EU governments have lobbied to make it easier to curb unrestricted travel in Europe and reinstate internal frontiers abandoned in most of the bloc in the last two decades.

But the Commission's plan is likely to meet heavy resistance from many capitals, given national sovereignty issues, and fuel heated debate over the limits of free movement of people, one of the cornerstones of European integration.

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