Dossier: Europe without borders – 15 years of the Schengen zone

Author (Corporate)
Series Title
Series Details 26.3.10
Publication Date 26/03/2010
Content Type

For 15 years, Europe has been going through a piecemeal process of becoming a continent without internal borders. On 26 March 1995 the Schengen Agreement took effect, implementing a visa-free area between the five original signatory states: Belgium, France, Luxembourg, Germany and the Netherlands.

Since then, the Schengen Area has grown to include all other members of the European Union with the exception of the United Kingdom and Ireland - which chose not to join. Iceland, Norway and Switzerland are also part of the zone.

With the exception of random police checks at airports, train stations and on highways, border controls between Schengen states no longer exist. People and goods can freely cross the countries' borders, eliminating hassles both for travelers and for businesses.

This Dossier provides access to a series of articles and features which provide for a closer look at how Schengen has changed Europe since 1995.

Source Link,,5368672,00.html
Related Links
ESO: Background information: Schengen at 24
Eur-Lex: Summaries of EU Legislation: Justice, freedom and security: Free movement of persons, asylum and immigration
Wikipedia: Schengen Agreement
Euro|Topics: Schengen (archive)
European NAvigator: Schengen Agreement
EUR-LEX: The Schengen Acquis (OJ L239, 22.9.00)
ESO: Background information: Statement of the European Commissioner for Home Affairs, Cecilia Malmström, on the 25th Anniversary of Schengen: 'Twenty-five years of removing borders'

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