Macron Calls on EU to Restore Internal Border Controls to Combat Terrorist Migrants

French police officers stand at a border post on the French-Spanish border on the A63 moto
IROZ GAIZKA/AFP via Getty Images

French president Emmanuel Macron has called for an overhaul of the European Union’s internal border agreement after noting that terrorists have used migration flows.

The French leader said he would be proposing to the European Council next month an overhaul to the EU’s Schengen agreement, including “greater control” within the political bloc.

President Macron also stated that he would be doubling the number of police and customs staff manning France’s own borders from 2,400 to 4,800 to fight against illegal migration as well as terrorist threats to his country, France Info reports.

“Terrorist actions can be carried out by people who use immigration flows,” Macron said on Thursday.

The statement comes after two terrorist attacks in the last several weeks in France, both of which involved migrants.

The first saw a Chechen migrant with refugee status murder teacher Samuel Paty in the street and behead him after he had shown cartoons of the Islamic prophet Mohammed to his class during a lesson on free speech. The drawings had previously been published by satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

The second terror attack, which took place in a church in the city of Nice, also involved a Tunisian migrant who had come across the Mediterranean earlier this year and landed illegally on the Italian island of Lampedusa.

The revelation led Italian populist Senator Matteo Salvini to ask how many other potential terrorists had come into Europe through migrant routes, saying: “How many are to disappear like him after landing? I think there are thousands of them. Yet there are mugshots and footprints of each of them.”

Since the murder of Samuel Paty, President Macron has also vowed to crack down on Islamist-linked associations. Macron has been recently joined in that call by Austrian Chancellor Sebastian Kurz following the Vienna terror attack.

Chancellor Kurz stated on Wednesday that he was in contact with Macron and called on the EU to focus on combatting political Islam.

“Now, it is important that we resolutely continue the fight. Not only against Islamist terrorism but also against the ideological basis behind it — that is, against political Islam and radical Islamism,” Kurz said.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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