The future of the Schengen zone has been thrown into doubt because of the refugee crisis. The original intention was to create a zone within Europe, consisting of 26 countries that have abolished passport and border controls.
— EESC PRESS (@EESC_PRESS) December 10, 2015
A mini-Schengen would at least ensure border-free travel between Germany and many of its neighbors— ergunbabahan (@ebabahan) December 11, 2015
However, the massive flight of refugees from war-torn countries — including Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Somalia, Libya and many more — has exposed a major flaw in the system: the outer perimeter of the area is extremely poorly patrolled.
Hundreds of thousands of refugees have traveled by sea and by land into Greece and Italy — both of which are struggling to cope with the numbers — as well as via the West Balkan route into eastern Europe.
— Andrej Matisak (@matisaksk) December 8, 2015
Merkel — who famously declared her country's doors open to refugees from Syria, precipitating the biggest mass movement of people since World War Two — has refused, so far, to set a cap on the number of refugees entering her country and called for a quota system, so the all countries in the EU would be forced to take in a certain number of refugees arriving in Europe.
She wrecked Schengen, elected LePen, and imported decades of social crisis into her own country: yes, Angela Merkel is woman of the year— David Frum (@davidfrum) December 9, 2015
However, many — including most Eastern European states — have shunned the plan. Meanwhile, Germany and other EU states have called for the Schengen external border to be strengthened. Greece was threatened with being thrown out of the Schengen zone unless it could secure its borders amid the current refugee crisis.
It follows similar calls from the Dutch government which had floated the idea of a "mini-Schengen area" which would include Austria, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, a report in Dutch newspaper De Telegraaf said.
The creation of a mini-Schengen would — in effect — bring an end to the great European dream — much vaunted by Merkel — of a union where the free movement of people and trade was paramount.