309. Deputy Micheál Martin asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the status of the Schengan agreement; if members of the European Union Council want it dismantled; if it is under threat, given the atrocities in Paris in France; and if she will make a statement on the matter. [41155/15]


Minister for Justice and Equality (Deputy Frances Fitzgerald): The Schengen Agreement is an agreement among certain European Member States. The Agreement allows for the abolition of systematic border controls between participating countries. It also includes provisions on common policy on the temporary entry of people (including the Schengen visa), the harmonisation of external border controls and cross-border police and judicial co-operation.
Ireland (and the United Kingdom) only takes part in the police and criminal judicial measures of the Agreement and does not participate in the common border control and visa provisions. This decision was taken in order to maintain the Common Travel Area with the United Kingdom which remains a priority for Ireland.
I am not aware of any proposal coming before Council that the Schengen Travel Area be dismantled