Coronavirus is death of Schengen?
French President Emmanuel Macron warned European Union leaders the crisis risked undoing the bloc's central pillars - for example, the no-border zone codified in the Schengen Agreement - if they did not solidarity.
“What’s at stake is the survival of the European project,” he told the 26 other leaders in a conference call, according to a French diplomat. “The risk we are facing is the death of Schengen,” Macron added, according to the same source.
Macron's comments came on the day the European Union marked the 25th anniversary of Schengen agreement with all its land borders shut or subject to heavy checks imposed in an effort to curb the spread of the coronavirus.
The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Olenchenko, speaking to Vestnik Kavkaza, emphasized that against the backdrop of the coronavirus pandemic, the need for reform of the European Union becomes apparent.
“Recent events have shown, first, a weak reaction in the EU to various kinds of developments, and second, very poor manageability within the EU,” the expert explained.
"Apparently, the issue of displacement between countries will also undergo reformation," Vladimir Olenchenko noted.
The senior research fellow at the European Research Centre of the International Relations Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences recalled that Schengen area was created for a certain number of countries, and now the EU includes 28 states. "The main issue is the issue of European solidarity, which so far does not stand the test and turns out to be just a slogan, not a practice," the expert concluded.