EU political agreement on new rules for a more resilient Schengen area

The Commission welcomes the political agreement reached today between the European Parliament and the Council on new rules for the Schengen Borders Code. This Regulation will strengthen EU coordination to deal with challenges at the EU external borders as well as cross-border health and security threats.

The Schengen area has faced various challenges over recent years, from the COVID-19 pandemic to security threats such as terrorism, drug trafficking and organised crime, to irregular migration. Such developments require an updated Schengen rulebook.
The Commission proposed to update and revise the Schengen Borders Code in December 2021. The aim of the reform is to complete the range of tools necessary to ensure the proper functioning of the Schengen area, both at the external and internal borders.

Today’s agreement includes the following measures to strengthen the Schengen Borders Code:

  • Stronger external borders, with border measures to address the instrumentalisation of migrants.
  • Reinforced framework for the use of cross-border police cooperation in border regions as an alternative to internal border controls.
  • A revised framework for the possible reintroduction of internal border controls as a last resort measure, in a structured system with defined time limits and increased safeguards.
  • New transfer procedure for irregular migrants, to assist Member States in dealing with secondary movements within the EU.
  • Travel restrictions for third country nationals at the EU’s external borders during major health emergencies with common and simplified rules for limiting travel by non-EU nationals.

Next steps

The Regulation must now be formally adopted by the European Parliament and the Council. It will enter into force on the twentieth day following that of its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union.