France seeks 'modification' of Schengen travel deal

- French interior minister speaks out as EU leaders meet in Brussels to discuss terrorism, just one month after attacks in Paris in which 17 people were murdered.

PARIS (AA) - A senior French minister has said the country wants to modify the Schengen-area travel agreement to tighten airport security.

French Interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said Thursday that France wants "a modification of the Schengen code" so that European countries can carry out "routine checks" at European airports "to see if the people coming could be a problem or not."

Cazeneuve told radio station France Info that discussing this modification is on France's "specific agenda" at an ongoing EU summit in Brussels.

EU leaders are meeting Thursday to discuss fight against terrorism, just one month after attacks in Paris in which 17 people were murdered.

They are set to discuss tightening checks within the passport-free Schengen area and increasing information-sharing of the Passenger Name Record in a bid to identify EU nationals trying to travel to conflict zones such as Syria and Iraq.

The PNR is a collection of passenger information compiled by airlines when customers check-in or reserve flights, including seat number, reservation date, payment method and travel itinerary.

On Wednesday, the European Parliament heard calls for beefing up immigration checks on travelers entering the 26-nation Schengen area and investment in education and social programs to address the root causes of radicalization.

MEPs also said that under certain conditions, they could support an EU-wide program to exchange PNR data.

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