EU executive head: passport-free travel needed for jobs, single currency

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 15, 2016 4:43 AM

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - Unemployment would raise in the European Union should its passport-free travel system fall apart, the head of the bloc's executive arm said on Friday, adding that keeping the single euro currency would also be pointless under such a scenario.

"Schengen (the passport-free travel zone) is one of the biggest achievements of the European integration process. Without Schengen, without the free movement of workers, without freedom of European citizens to travel, the euro makes no sense," European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said.

"And the same applies to the link between Schengen, freedom of movement and the internal market. If anybody wants to kill off Schengen, then ultimately what they are going to do is do away with the single market as well," he told a news conference.

"And that's going to lead to unemployment issues in Europe. Less Schengen means less employment, less economic growth."

(Reporting by Alastair Macdonald, Writing by Gabriela Baczynska)