Dutch consider mini-Schengen zone to cut refugee influx

netherlands borderThe cabinet is looking at the option of developing a smaller open border area made up of the Netherlands, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany and Austria, the Telegraaf says on Wednesday.

This ‘mini-Schengen’ area would work together and control its external borders more carefully, the paper says. The aim is to impose better checks on asylum seekers on arrival.

The current Schengen zone for passport-free travel comprises 22 EU member states and four non-members.

Halbe Zijlstra, leader of the VVD parliamentary party, said the plan would win his party’s support. ‘The influx is so large that you need to take unorthodox measures,’ he told the paper.

Earlier this month, junior justice minister Klaas Dijkhoff said after talks with other EU officials that the influx of refugees showed the current Schengen system no longer works.

German chancellor Angela Merkel said in the summer that she would raise the treaty’s future if other countries did not take in more refugees. ‘If we cannot make a fair allocation system, then we have to talk about the future of Schengen,’ she said.

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