The Government have decided not to exercise their right, under protocol 19 to the treaty on the functioning of the European Union (the Schengen protocol) and the treaty on European Union, to opt out of the regulation of the European Parliament and of the Council on the establishment of an evaluation mechanism to verify the application of the Schengen acquis.
The Government have taken this decision in accordance with the commitment in the coalition agreement which states that we will approach legislation in the area of security and criminal justice on a case-by-case basis, with a view to maximising our country’s security, protecting Britain’s civil liberties and preserving the integrity of our criminal justice system.
The Government believe that our national interests are best served by participating in this regulation. Through this mechanism we can ensure that member states implement and continue to apply the correct standards, as required by the Schengen acquis, in order to maintain an area of lowered border controls which is secure for its citizens. Our participation will ensure our existing active role in the scrutiny of those policing and judicial co-operation elements of the Schengen acquis in which we participate.