16:25 GMT22 September 2020
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    PARIS (Sputnik) – The Schengen Area should be reviewed, and a number of countries should possibly be excluded from it, French President Emmanuel Macron said Thursday.

    "The famous Schengen agreement… no longer works… Europe [that I believe in] keeps its borders, protects them, in this Europe there is a reasonable right to refugee status, and responsibility accompanies solidarity… It is on this basis that it is necessary to reform the Schengen area," Macron told a press conference, saying that is should not be ruled out that after the revision there would be less states in the Schengen at the expense of those countries that "do not want to ensure common borders."

    He also stressed that it was necessary to completely restructure the development policy and migration policy.

    READ MORE: The Man With No Friends. Macron's Letter Attacks Everyone, Offers Little

    It was not for the first time when the French President shared hiw views on the Schengen agreement. Earlier in April Macron wrote a newspaper column entitled "European renaissance", where he noted that the Schengen area has to be revised.

    "The boundary is freedom in security. We therefore need to rethink the Schengen area: all those who want to be part of it should comply with obligations of responsibility (stringent border controls) and solidarity (one asylum policy with the same acceptance and refusal rules)," Macron wrote.    

    Since 2015, Europe has been experiencing its worst migration crisis in recent history, struggling to accommodate hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants fleeing hostilities in Middle Eastern and North African countries.

    Hundreds of thousands of migrants are trying to reach EU states using various routes, mostly via Greece or Italy.

    The 2022 Presidential Elections

    Macron said on Thursday, when asked about the possibility of running for a second term in 2022, that he did not care about the next election, as he focused on succeeding during the ongoing presidential term.

    "I don't care about the next election. I want to spend this presidential term successfully," Macron said at a press conference held in the follow-up to the national debate in France.

    The French leader, who has been in office since 2017, stressed that in order to succeed he had to make "unpopular" or "difficult" decisions and undertake responsibility for them.

    France held a national debate from January 15 to March 15. Macron came up with the idea to hold the debate as a response to the yellow vest protesters, outraged with the social policies of the French government.

    The press conference drawing the conclusions of the debate was initially scheduled for 15 April but then postponed due to the fire that broke out in the landmark Notre Dame cathedral exactly on that day.


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