France says EU border controls would cost €100bn to reintroduce

Tightening movement could shrink the EU's economy by almost a full percent according to financial planners...

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A soldier patrols at the Notre Dame cathedral in Paris. Image: Michel Euler / AP/Press Association Images

France has warned that red tape and travel disruption caused by the reintroduction of boarder controls in the EU would cut Europe's gross domestic product by €100bn.

According to the research, the overall size of the EU economy would contract by 0.8% by 2025.

As the continent faces a continued stream of asylum-seekers from the Middle East and Africa, there have been calls for tighter management of the movement of people, including the reintroduction of boarder controls.

According to the France Strategie study, the reintroduction of boarder controls between in the Schengen passport-free travel zone would have a significant impact on tourist spending and trade.

Jean Pisani-Ferry, head of the agency, discussed the research with The Financial Times, “The short-term costs of reinstating controls, albeit not negligible, are limited, but if those controls were in place permanently, it would have a much bigger impact on trade and jobs longer term," he said. 

A number of countries, including Germany and France have used an emergency clause in the Schengen treaty to allow countries to perform border checks in cases of security alerts or sudden influxes of migrants.

These checks can continue for six months, and can be extended if the European Commission gives countries permission.

EU interior ministers raised specific concerns about Greece's struggle to screen and process the high levels of migrants coming to the country.

The research estimates that reintroducing boarder controls would cost France alone between €1bn and €2bn per year - with the bulk of the loss coming in the tourist industry.