Spain has suspended visa-free travel and re-instituted border checks ahead of a meeting of the European Central Bank (ECB) in Barcelona next week.
It is an unprecedented move that overrides the Schengen Protocol that was first instituted in 1985. The agreement means there are no internal border controls for the 26 European countries and their combined population of more than 400 million people.
Spain says it needs to regulate its borders to prevent foreign protesters disrupting the ECB meeting .
It is not the first time Schengen Protocol has been called into question. Germany and France also want new rules to make it easier to suspend passport-free travel.
Al Jazeera's Sonia Gallego reports from Madrid.
Source: Al Jazeera