Special report 13/2022: Free movement in the EU during the COVID-19 pandemic – Limited scrutiny of internal border controls, and uncoordinated actions by Member States

(Source: European Court of Auditors)

The right of EU citizens to move freely within the territory of the EU Member States is a fundamental freedom of the European Union. We examined the Commission’s supervision of the internal Schengen border controls and travel restrictions imposed by the Member States during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as the efforts undertaken at EU level to coordinate these restrictions until the end of June 2021. We conclude that the limitations of the legal framework hindered the Commission’s supervision of free movement restrictions imposed by the Member States. Furthermore, the Commission did not exercise proper scrutiny to ensure that internal border controls complied with the Schengen legislation. Despite Commission’s initiatives, the Member States’ travel restrictions were mostly uncoordinated.

ECA special report pursuant to Article 287(4), second subparagraph, TFEU.

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