France will tighten border control in preparation for next month’s UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, according to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve.
As France “close[s] its borders for several weeks”, as Cazeneuve phrased it, people from other European countries can still enter France. However, anyone entering the country will be subject to strict border control measures.
The policy has been put in place in an effort to decrease the likelihood of a terrorist threat or disruption to public order, the interior minister told news sources on Friday.
There is concern that France’s latest policy violates the Schengen Area agreement, which mandates open borders around Europe for the 26 European Union nations. Cazeneuve told sources that France is not in violation agreement, as it allows countries to take such measures in “certain circumstances.”
This is not the first time a European nation has temporarily suspended the Schengen treaty. In 2002, Italy tightened border control measures ahead of an anti-war rally during the lead up to the Iraq War.
France’s decision comes roughly ten months after the tragic terrorist attack at the Charlie Hebdo offices in Paris and the Île-de-France attacks resulted in the death of 18 people, including several police officers, and 22 injuries.
The conference, known as Paris 2015, will host top climate change and government officials from around the world and will take place from November 20 to December 11. The presence of so many important figures makes this event a prime target for terrorism.
Cazeneuve said that the climate change meeting “carries a large message for humanity.” He also notes that in the past other host countries have taken similar measures to ensure the safety of their citizens as well as the conference attendees.
The conference is the 21st yearly meeting of the Conference of the Parties related to the 1992 UNFCCC and the 11th session of the Meeting of the Parties related to the 1997 Kyoto Protocol. The goal of this year’s conference is to achieve a legally binding universal agreement on climate from all the world’s nations.