30th August 2015

EU discusses train security after Thalys attempted attack

Following an attack on a Thalys line from Amsterdam to Paris on 22 August, which was stopped by brave passengers (among them vacationing American marines) before killing anyone, interior ministers of nine Western EU countries held a meeting in Paris to discuss train security and Schengen rules. The attacker on the high-speed train carrying more than 500 people had been flagged when entering the EU for suspected terrorist links. Any measure that would require him to give his name when travelling would alert the authorities. This is what the ministers discussed last week. Although Schengen allows people inside Europe to travel freely across borders, the ministers agreed that steps can be taken to minimize the risks. For now, there will be more security and ID checks on trains. But more robust measures will also be considered – including airport-style X-ray checks at train stations. Some even call for the revision of Schengen. According to the European Commission, however, the Schengen rules allow for many measures, not all of which are used. Before re-codifying one of the most visible advantages of the EU, those should be tried at first.

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Members of the American Chamber of Commerce in the Czech Republic