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LN: Schengen preservation is in Central Europe´s interest

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Prague, Nov 26 (CTK) – The preservation of the Schengen system is in the interest of Central European countries that should insist on the European Union dealing with substantial matters, Jan Machacek writes in daily Lidove noviny (LN) yesterday.
He writes that many people in the Czech Republic may not realise it, but the possibility of disintegration of the Schengen system of open borders within Europe has been assuming real dimensions
Many commentators of prestigious western dailies consider it a fait accompli, or minimally a feasible idea that is perceived differently across Europe and elsewhere in the world, depending on the local situation, Machacek writes.
He writes that the threat that Schengen may disintegrate must be considered most cautiously in the post-communist Central Europe where it is a symbol of freedom.
It is particularly important for the Czech Republic with its smaller open economy, strongly interlinked with the German and Austrian economies, Machacek writes.
Surprisingly, various Czech economic associations and chambers remain calm. Their managers do not probably read The Financial Times, Machacek he adds.
Machacek writes that for the economies like the Czech and Slovak ones, which in addition depend on car production, Schengen is a life-giving vein. There is also an asymmetry: the Czechs and Slovaks need it more than the Germans or the French.
It is normal that crises, big crises, disasters, challenges and mega challenges occur from time to time, but it is not normal that Europe is unable to stand up to crises effectively, clearly and resolutely, Machacek writes.
This has been confirmed in connection with the euro zone crisis and it is being confirmed in the current migrant and security crisis, he adds.
The Schengen border must be protected jointly and effectively. It is necessary to jointly finance barriers, it is necessary to create a joint border guard, police, etc., Machacek writes.
Even a small child will comprehend that it is not cheaper and simpler to build a fence around every country and guard it by soldiers than to build a fence around the whole Schengen area, Machacek writes.
In addition, the disintegration of Schengen would have incalculable and steep macroeconomic impacts, he adds.
All this could be financed with joint bonds of freedom, security and aid. Schengen is freedom of movement which is a real contrast for those who lived behind the Iron Curtain, Machacek writes.
Freedom cannot exist without security that can be ensured by effective protection and control, Machacek writes.
The yields from these two bonds could finance a joint migrant and asylum policy that would be real aid to the migrants in need, Machacek writes.
All this requires that European political elites start a really effective debate on federalism, which is no centralism, but a fundamental principle, Machacek writes.
The centre is to deal with important issues while the less important ones are to be solved based on the subsidiarity principle on national level, Machacek writes.
He writes that Europe should not deal on the central level just now with quotas for women on corporate boards or waste recycling, but it should jointly solve the protection of the free movement of people, the crisis of the euro zone, the banking union, the insurance of deposits, the Ukrainian crisis, the Brexit threat, and the like.
Federalism supports internal competition and protects smaller entities and countries. That is why it is in the interest of the Central European countries, such as the Czech Republic, to fight for federalism and to table the theme right now, Machacek writes.

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