Berlusconi, Sarkozy call for Schengen reform at Rome summit
France and Italy jointly called for the European Union's Schengen accord to be reformed to allow member states to reimpose internal border controls more easily. French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi agreed on a letter outlining their demands to EU leaders at a summit in Rome, which also discussed Libya, Syria and French incursions into the Italian economy.
"We both believe that in exceptional circumstances there should be variations to the
Rome complains that it has been left alone to handle an influx boosted by revolutions in the region, while France has accused it of dumping Tunisians, many of whom speak French and want to go to the former colonial power.
The 1985 Schengen treaty allowed passport-free travel to 400 million people in 25 nations which signed the pact.
Both Berlusconi and Sarkozy, who faces a presidential election next year, are under right-wing pressure on immigration at a time in which unrest in north Africa has displaced thousands of people around the Mediterranean.
Other questions discussed by the two leaders included: