The French president Nicolas Sarkozy and the Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi, at a summit in Rome, opted to pile the pressure on Brussels and the governments of the other 25 EU states, demanding an "in-depth revision" of European law regulating the passport-free travel that takes in almost all of the EU with the exception of Britain and Ireland.
Prompted by the influx to Italy of almost 30,000 immigrants, mainly from Tunisia, in recent months, the two leaders warned that the upheavals in north Africa "could swiftly become an out-and-out crisis capable of undermining the trust our fellow citizens place in the free circulation within the Schengen area", according to
The Italian premier said that there should be a "principle of solidarity" among European countries in reforming the treaty. He also stressed that southern EU member states that lie along the Mediterranean should be assisted by other member states in tackling the problems posed by the mass exodus of migrants from north Africa to Europe.
Meanwhile, Sarkozy insisted that the Schengen has to be reformed it was to survive, noting: "We have the euro, we have reformed the European economy - we would like to see the same thing done to Schengen,"