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THE NETHERLANDS 31 May 2012 Dutch border cameras installed, reflecting a trend


The right-leaning, minority Dutch government plans to install cameras to detect crime and illegal immigration at its re

May 31, 2012 - NULL

THE NETHERLANDS 31 May 2012 Dutch border cameras installed, reflecting a trend

The right-leaning, minority Dutch government plans to install cameras to detect crime and illegal immigration at its remaining five highways from Belgium and Germany by May 31. The pointed test of the rules of the agreement for free movement of people within the internal borders of the Schengen zone reflects the rise in influence of populist anti-immigrant parties in Holland, as in other European countries.

Dutch Interior Minister Gerd Leers asserted in a letter to the European Commission that the military-grade surveillance technology does not

THE NETHERLANDS 31 May 2012 Dutch border cameras installed, reflecting a trend

The right-leaning, minority Dutch government plans to install cameras to detect crime and illegal immigration at its remaining five highways from Belgium and Germany by May 31. The pointed test of the rules of the agreement for free movement of people within the internal borders of the Schengen zone reflects the rise in influence of populist anti-immigrant parties in Holland, as in other European countries.

Dutch Interior Minister Gerd Leers asserted in a letter to the European Commission that the military-grade surveillance technology does not violate the European Union's Schengen code on passport-free travel, describing the cameras as an alternative to more invasive policing.

The Schengen Agreement was signed initially by seven countries on 14 Jun 1985 and was implemented 10 years later. It ended internal border checks and controls in Schengen signatories. Not all EU countries are signatories, and four non-EU countries have signed up to the pact. Liechtenstein joined on 19 Dec 2011, and Romania and Bulgaria are expected to join in 2012. The Netherlands is holding up their entry.

The Dutch project is the latest in a line of anti-Schengen-type measures adopted by EU countries with increasingly influential far-right political parties. Denmark, France and Italy last year also tightened up borders.

Writing in the Huffington Post in January, Peter Schuck, a Law professor at Yale University, observes that the Schengen perimeter has proved quite porous. Frontier states like Italy and Greece have broken their Schengen promises both by failing to intercept illegal migrants from North Africa and by encouraging them to move northward into more prosperous EU states. "This failure has helped to make right-wing nativist parties an electoral force in almost every EU state," he notes.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy - who is trying to draw voters away from far-right candidate Marine Le Pen ahead of April elections - warned in a major speech in December that EU passport-free travel is too free. "Schengen must be reconsidered," he said. (WRITTEN JAN 2012)

RELATED READING:
Dutch minister: Border cameras do not break EU law (EU Observer 31 Jan 2012)
http://euobserver.com/9/115087

Citizenship and the Financial Crisis in Europe (Huff. Post 24 Jan 2012)
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/peter-schuck/post_2902_b_1228777.html

Date written/update: 2012-05-31