13 May, 2011
Federalists condemn closure of Danish borders
The Union of European Federalists (UEF) has expressed their deep concern about the re-imposition by Denmark of border controls. In a statement today (Friday) UEF President Andrew Duff MEP (ALDE/UK) said:
"The unilateral decision of Denmark to abolish free movement contradicts both the letter and the spirit of the Schengen Agreement. The Danish move is highly disproportionate as a measure to respond to the 'crisis' over refugees from North Africa   a problem which needs a practical and compassionate response from all member states of the European Union.

"I also deplore the UK government's decision not to share the burden with Italy, Malta and France by helping out those who are fleeing the civil war in Libya.

"Neither the UK nor Denmark are acting in a way which serves to project to the Arab world European values of humanity, tolerance and respect for the rule of law."

Duff added:

"The European federalist movement expresses its unequivocal solidarity with those in Europe's immediate neighbourhood who are struggling for liberty and a better standard of life. We continue to fight against this and all expressions of populist nationalism.

"The UEF calls on the European Commission to take swift action against the decision of Denmark and any other country which retreats from treaty commitments to guarantee free movement, security and justice throughout the European Union."

UEF Vice-President Andrey Kovatchev MEP (EPP/BG) added:

"I look forward to a swift agreement to let Bulgaria and Romania join the Schengen Area as evidence that the EU has not lost faith in the aspiration of free movement.

"Short-term political and national egoism should not jeopardise our common European future. It is a big mistake to understand European integration as a pick-and-choose model, in which we choose only the points that we find advantageous at the moment, while rejecting everything else.

"We cannot accept to give up one of our main achievements - the free movement of citizens in the EU! I expect the Commission to protect the achievements of European integration and not to bend to the pressure of member states."

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