According to the European Court of Auditors, corona-related border controls between individual EU countries have been poorly checked. According to a special report, the EU Commission coordinated the corona measures of the EU states “inadequately” and also did not obtain enough information about border controls. Since freedom of travel is one of the fundamental freedoms of the EU, the Commission should have carefully assessed whether all the restrictions introduced during the Corona crisis were relevant and justified, auditor Baudilio Tomé Muguruza said on Monday.

According to the report, the monitoring failed to ensure that the Schengen rules, which facilitate the free movement of people in the EU, were fully respected. The examiners also pointed out that the EU states were responsible for implementing the measures. However, the EU Commission has the mandate to keep the effects as low as possible. To this end, the Commission had issued guidelines, which the auditors found to be insufficiently practical.

The report also states that the notifications in which EU countries informed the Commission about the border controls did not provide sufficient evidence that the controls were proportionate and used as a last resort. In addition, it is criticized that the Commission has not acted more decisively against long-term border controls.

Every EU citizen has the right to move freely within the Schengen area. A total of 22 EU countries and four non-EU countries are part of the Schengen area. However, this right can be restricted to protect public order, security or health. In such a case, the member states must inform the EU Commission. It then checks whether the planned restrictions are compatible with EU law.