24. 2. 2010
Problems of Czech citizens on the border with Germany or are we not part of Schengen?
The Czech public are more and more worried about the way in which many Czech citizens have been treated for already quite some time not only at the Czech-Bavaria and Czech-Saxon borders, but in the end even after entering dozens of kilometers into the German territory. They happen very often and mainly without any reason disrupting the well-being of Czechs through controlling steps and it does not depend on whether we are travelling by public transportation or by own private means, in own car. Controls on top of it are mostly not performed by uniformed policemen or customs inspector, but largely by men in civil clothes, without whatever evident label or indicative of being the authorized person for that.
In 2006 I was one of those European Parliament members who stood against the attempt to postpone the deadline for the then ten new member-States, including our Republic, into the so-called Schengen Information System (SIS I for all). Connection to that system, which in the end we were able to carry through without adjournment and started to be valid from December 21st 2007, should allow even our citizens free movement in the European Union territory. In the beginning everything went on without problems, but after about a year problems started arising. Immediatelly after the first many complaints from people describing me the rough treatment from the side of German authorities I turned to then Interior Minister Ivan Langer with the proposal to file a request for clarification from the EU. From what I know, Langer tried to solve the situation, but Brussels never (neither his substitute) officially never pronounced themselves on the matter. The bullying of Czech citizens continues in the meantime even stronger and the Germans in their own defense invent new and new reasons. The newest is supposedly the liberal drug policies of Czech Republic.
At the end of April 2009 I spoke at the European Parlament in Strasbourg on that theme, independently from our local politician's efforts. I took advantage of the debate promoted on the theme Rights of Bus Passengers and Coach Car Transportation, I was not able to fit it anywhere else. I told the EP plenary the following (I transcribe it from the Parlament records):
"In relation with the discussed report on the rights of passengers in the transportation system I would like to warn about the fact, which doesn't so much have to do with the protection of the interests of the consumer, but instead the disrespect for the principle of free movement of persons through the Schenger space. Concretely I am refering to the movement of people through the Czech-German borders. Not only I personally, but even representatives of regional and communal organs at the Czech-German borderland surroundings are confronted with increasing and more constant complaints from citizens of the Czech Republic about the abuses from the German police after either public vehicles of transportation or private cars cross the Czech-German borders. Citizens complain that they are stopped without apparent reason in their way by policemen not in uniform, controlled and on top of that interrogated about their destination and justification of the trip to Germany. The behaviour of the German police is literally chicanery and their acts are in evident conflict with the basic right to free movement withint the EU by its members. I emphasize once again that such cases are happening more and more often and I vehementlu request that the EU organs engage in the prompt correction of this current state."
Since I finished my European Parlamentarian activities last year, there was no time left for me to follow that situation any longer. I appeal now to the current Czech europarlamentarians (we have in total twenty-two!) for at least some of them - although it would be much more effective a collective act - to make this theme his or her own. It is not possible to, as a consequence of not acting, stand by while we find ourselves in the Union's environment in a role of some kind of second rate country, with whom is possible to deal without regard and perhaps even discriminate against.
translated by FG