Macron calls for strengthening of border controls in EU's Schengen zone

President Emmanuel Macron today called for a strengthening of border controls in the European Union's Schengen zone following recent Islamist attacks in France and Austria.

Macron, speaking during a visit to France's border with Spain, said that France alone will bolster its border controls by doubling police numbers to 4,800. 

The tighter controls were needed to curb clandestine immigration, said Macron, adding that the criminal gangs illegally trafficking migrants into Europe were often linked to terror networks. 

'I am in favour of an in-depth re-foundation of Schengen to re-think its organisation and beef up our common border security,' he added.

During a visit to the Franco-Spanish border today (pictured), President Emmanuel Macron called for an 'in-depth re-foundation of Schengen' to 'beef up our common border security'

During a visit to the Franco-Spanish border today (pictured), President Emmanuel Macron called for an 'in-depth re-foundation of Schengen' to 'beef up our common border security' 

The president said he would present proposals to European Union partners at an EU summit in December. 

France, home to Europe's largest Muslim community, has been hit by a string of militant attacks in recent years.  

On 29 October, a Tunisian man beheaded one woman and killed two other people in a church in Nice. Brahim Aouissaoui had arrived on the Italian island of Lampedusa, which lies off North Africa, five weeks earlier. 

After being transferred to the mainland, Aouissaoui travelled into France by train hours before launching his attack. 

The jihadist who killed four people in Vienna on Monday travelled to neighbouring Slovakia in July in an attempt to buy ammunition, Austrian officials said. 

Macron said the recent attacks were a warning to Europe that 'the terrorist risk is everywhere'.

In a piece for the Financial Times, Macron today warned that some French districts have become 'terrorist breeding grounds' where 'small girls wear full veil and are raised to hate our values'.   

The head of state painted a picture of lawless suburbs in which abused infants are kept away from children of the opposite sex in an open letter defending his stance against Islamic extremists. 

Security forces guard the area after a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice, France, October 29, 2020

Security forces guard the area after a reported knife attack at Notre Dame church in Nice, France, October 29, 2020

Nice attacker Brahim Auissaoui is seen in a photograph taken at the Italian port city of Bari, where he disembarked from a coronavirus quarantine ship on October 8 - marking his arrival in mainland Europe

Nice attacker Brahim Auissaoui is seen in a photograph taken at the Italian port city of Bari, where he disembarked from a coronavirus quarantine ship on October 8 - marking his arrival in mainland Europe

Kujtim Fejzulai, 20, posted the photograph on his Instagram account showing him holding the three weapons he would use in the attack and pledging his allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. Austrian officials said Fejzulai travelled to Slovakia to try to buy ammunition

Kujtim Fejzulai, 20, posted the photograph on his Instagram account showing him holding the three weapons he would use in the attack and pledging his allegiance to ISIS leader Abu Ibrahim al-Hashimi al-Qurashi. Austrian officials said Fejzulai travelled to Slovakia to try to buy ammunition 

Macron also said there are 'hundreds of radicalised individuals' living in France who could strike with a knife at any moment.   

In the open letter, Macron wrote: 'Since 2015 it has become clear, and I said this even before I became president, that there are breeding grounds for terrorists in France. 

'Visit the districts where small girls aged three or four are wearing a full veil, separated from boys, and, from a very young age, separated from the rest of society, raised in hatred of France's values.' 

The proposals that Macron would put to EU nations would be based on principals he set out in a letter to citizens ahead of European elections last year, a junior minister said.

In that letter, Macron wrote that Europe needed a common border force and a single asylum office, strict border control

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