Schengen, the EU's border-free zone, is a beautiful thing in theory, but not always in practice. Some borders and some means of transport are still controlled. We will work out where these breaches of the law and spirit of Schengen happen, map them, and push the Commission takes breaches seriously.
Border regions of the EU
Freedom of movement is the right granted by the EU most cherished by Europeans. Yet its practical implementation within the Schengen area is under threat - by politicians and authorities who still think in national terms, and are security-paranoid. In Brussels the Commission does not take potential Schengen breaches seriously for fear of offending Member States. This project will, from the bottom up, highlight the problem at protect this core right for EU citizens.
The project could be expanded to detail other problems with free movement, looking at citizens' rights after they have moved to another EU Member State.
Currently public debate about Schengen is about the EU's external borders. A year from now the problem of internal breaches of Schengen rules will be better known by a wider audience, and by relevant MEPs and Commissioners in Brussels.
The ground work for the campaign will also have discovered a 'worst case' border, and an official complaint will have been lodged with the Commission about this. This could be the first step towards a country being taken to the ECJ for non-implementation of Schengen.
Last but not least, research for the project will answer what ID a European citizen has to show wherever they are in the EU; no definitive such list currently exists. Online communication efforts will have informed hundreds of Europeans about how they too can protect Schengen.
The first step is research - to compile in detail how the ID system works within Schengen. No complete information about this exists. This work can be conducted online, and by contacting legal experts. An additional workshop with legal experts may be necessary in Brussels. This will happen within 3 months of funding being made available.
The second stage is to publicise the issue and the website, and follow up all complaints so far submitted - this will be done by e-mail and telephone. Further publicity will be done via Twitter and Facebook. This will be within 6 months.
Once a 'worst case' has been identified, Jon will travel to that border to document issues on the ground, with the assistance of other volunteers and a camera crew. This will be the final stage - within 12 months.