Watching the ITN news this evening the leading story was about various countries such as Slovenia reinforcing their borders to restrict the free flow of migrants from the Middle East. This was touted as an end to the Schengen agreement. I fail to understand!
The EUR-Lex web site defines Schengen as follows:-
"The Schengen area and cooperation are founded on the Schengen Agreement of 1985. The Schengen area represents a territory where the free movement of persons is guaranteed. The signatory states to the agreement have abolished all internal borders in lieu of a single external border. Here common rules and procedures are applied with regard to visas for short stays, asylum requests and border controls. Simultaneously, to guarantee security within the Schengen area, cooperation and coordination between police services and judicial authorities have been stepped up. Schengen cooperation has been incorporated into the European Union (EU) legal framework by the Treaty of Amsterdam of 1997. However, all countries cooperating in Schengen are not parties to the Schengen area. This is either because they do not wish to eliminate border controls or because they do not yet fulfil the required conditions for the application of the Schengen acquis.
During the 1980s, a debate began over the meaning of free movement of persons. Some Member States felt the concept should apply to European Union (EU) citizens only, which would involve keeping internal border checks in order to distinguish between citizens of the EU and non-EU nationals. Others argued in favour of free movement for everyone, which would mean an end to internal border checks altogether. Since Member States could not reach agreement, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands decided in 1985 to create a territory without internal borders. This became known as the "Schengen area", after the town in Luxembourg where the first agreements were signed. Following the signing of the Treaty of Amsterdam, this intergovernmental cooperation was incorporated into the EU framework on 1 May 1999."
Please correct me if I'm wrong, but it does state "abolished all internal borders in lieu of a single external border". This, to me, means that one can travel freely within the defined area as opposed to being able to travel freely from wherever one happens to be to anywhere else in the world. The border between Slovenia & Croatia would therefore be part of the external border, over which no such freedom of movement is usually allowed.
EUR-Lex goes on "Common rules regarding visas, right of asylum and checks at external borders were adopted to allow the free movement of persons within the signatory states without disrupting law and order." These, on humanitarian grounds, have been waived in many instances but these concessions have led to a worsening of the migrant crisis & citizens of many countries are saying "enough!"
The Schengen agreement allows the free movement of EU citizens within the confines of the EU. It does not allow for the free movement of immigrants who have no status as yet. Once they have been accepted into the EU in accordance with the "common rules" THEN these people would be allowed free movement. They HAVE to have been accepted first! That takes time.
I cannot see that controlling the external borders of the Shengen countries will result in the collapse of the agreement! What do these stupid, scare mongering reporters think "The signatory states to the agreement have abolished all internal borders in lieu of a single external border. Here common rules and procedures are applied with regard to visas for short stays, asylum requests and border controls" actually means???