Council Adopts General Approach on New Schengen Evaluation Procedure
On 3 March 2022, the Justice and Home Affairs Council agreed on a general approach regarding the reform of the specific Schengen evaluation and monitoring mechanism (for the Commission proposal → eucrim 2/2021, 76). The new rules will speed up and simplify the evaluation procedures, and strengthen the political and operational steering. The new Regulation will repeal the legal framework of 2013. Enhancements will particularly be done in the following areas:
- New strategic focus of the mechanism, which will include multiannual evaluation programmes and better targeted unannounced and thematic evaluations;
- Simpler and faster evaluation and monitoring procedures – here, the new Regulation will streamline the evaluation documents, provide an escalation mechanism in the event of lack of progress, and introduce a fast-track procedure for the identification of and response to serious deficiencies;
- Improved pooling of expertise, including the involvement of EU agencies, such as Frontex and Europol;
- Enhanced role of the Council.
The Council decided to consult the European Parliament for an opinion on the proposed new Regulation. The Regulation itself will then only be adopted by the Council.