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Former Mayor-President of Melilla Calls on Spanish Authorities to Include the Enclave in the Schengen Area

The former mayor of the Spanish enclave of Melilla in the northwest of the African continent, Juan Jose Imbroda, called on the Spanish authorities to work towards the inclusion of Melilla in the borderless Schengen area in Europe.

Embroda, a member of the People’s Party, said Thursday, February 10, that the EU should expand its external borders to Melilla and include the enclave in the Schengen area, reports.

“At any moment, if Morocco opens the border, it finds us naked, as we have always been. We must prepare life in Melilla and normalize it with a thought of friendly relations with Morocco and an economy more oriented to the peninsula and to Europe.”

A similar request was made to the Spanish government last year by the leader of the other Spanish enclave in Africa. Ceuta leader Juan Vivas has called on the government in mainland Spain to include the enclaves in the Schengen Treaty due to the immigration pressures they face.

In the span of three days in May 2021, about 10,000 Moroccans swam in Ceuta or climbed the fence separating the enclave from Morocco, despite the fact that about 8,000 Spanish soldiers were sent to the city in an attempt by the authorities to restore order.

It accused Morocco of “turning a blind eye” to the issue, and Spain returned nine out of ten migrants who had arrived in the enclaves. After the events, Spanish Foreign Minister Arancha Gonzalez revealed on June 16 that the country is considering incorporating the enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla into the Schengen Treaty.

Both enclaves are now subject to a special regime, which was imposed on them when Spain became part of the Schengen area in 1991. In order for both countries to become part of the Schengen area, this special regime must be abolished.

If something like this happens, Moroccans will have to obtain Schengen visas to be able to enter the enclave.

According to, the former mayor of Melilla also accused the Spanish government of doing nothing in connection with the closing of the customs office in August 2018.

How is it possible that they have not yet negotiated with Morocco to open commercial customs, which was before, a European custom? He said.

Ceuta and Melilla are two Spanish cities located in North Africa. Both cities have independent status and have a population of 87,000 and 80,000 people respectively. While the former is located on the northern coast of Africa, Melilla is located in the northwest of the African continent.

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