Schengen Agreement Defined

The Schengen Agreement Defined: What You Need to Know

The Schengen Agreement is a treaty that was signed in 1985 and has since been amended several times. The treaty aims to eliminate internal border controls among European countries and establish a common external border. The agreement is named after the town of Schengen in Luxembourg, where the initial agreement was signed.

Currently, there are 26 countries that are part of the Schengen Area. These countries include Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

The Schengen Area is a zone where citizens of the member countries can move freely without having to undergo border checks. This means that citizens can travel between countries without having to show their passports at each border checkpoint. The Schengen Agreement also allows citizens of non-member countries to travel freely within the Schengen Area as long as they hold a valid Schengen visa.

There are several benefits to being part of the Schengen Area. First, it has increased mobility and freedom for citizens of member countries. Second, it has facilitated trade and commerce between the member countries. Third, it has improved cooperation between law enforcement agencies in combating cross-border crime. Finally, it has reduced the cost and bureaucracy associated with border controls.

However, the Schengen Agreement has also faced several challenges in recent years. The refugee crisis in Europe has put a strain on the Schengen Area as some member countries have reintroduced border controls to control the influx of refugees. The terrorist attacks in Paris and Brussels have also raised concerns over the security of the Schengen Area.

In conclusion, the Schengen Agreement is an important treaty that has facilitated the free movement of people and goods within Europe. However, it faces challenges in addressing issues such as the refugee crisis and terrorism. Overall, the Schengen Agreement has had a positive impact on the European Union and its member countries.

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