EU to overhaul passport-free zone

BRUSSELS: The European Union agreed on Friday to rush through reforms to the passport-free Schengen zone by the end of the year amid growing concerns about border security in the wake of the Paris attacks. French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve announced the plan as he and his EU counterparts agreed in crisis talks to “immediately” tighten checks on Schengen’s external borders while they wait for deeper changes. “It’s a crucial change,” Cazeneuve told a press conference. “The European Commission has agreed to present, by the end of the year, a plan to reform the Schengen border code to allow systematic and obligatory checks at all external borders for all travellers, including those who benefit from free movement.”