What is the Schengen Agreement?
Schengen Agreement is visa policy agreement of Schengen member countries which addresses about the abolishment of their national borders.
The Schengen Agreement signed on June 14, 1985, near a small town called Schengen in Luxembourg. Original signatories were Belgium, France, West Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands.
The agreement states that common borders, including reduced speed vehicle checks which allowed vehicles to cross borders without stopping, allowing residents in border areas freedom to cross borders away from fixed checkpoints, and the harmonization of visa policies.
History of the the Schengen Agreement
Free movement of persons was common in Europe from the Roman era.But the idea was discontinued due to World war I and world war II,However peace of Europe begin to spread all over key European countries discussing idea of free Europe with no internal border checks amongst countries during 80’s.
Previously Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands has already abolished common boarder controls.
France and Germany pioneered bringing up free movement concept to the European council in 17 June 1984.
As a results of debates over free and open boarder Europe “The Schengen Agreement” covering the gradual abolishment of the internal borders between countries and an extended control of the external borders, was only signed on 14 June 1985.
The Agreement was signed by the five (5) following European countries: France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, and Netherlands, in Schengen, a small village in Southern Luxembourg on the river Moselle.
In 1990, the Agreement was supplemented by the Schengen Convention which proposed the abolition of internal border controls and a common visa policy.
It was this Convention that created the Schengen Area through the complete abolition of border controls between Schengen member states, common rules on visas, and police and judicial cooperation
Expansion of Schengen Area
Schengen Area expansion began with signing the agreement of following European countries abolishing their boarders.
Following are the country name and date of join Schengen area.
Italy – 1990
Portugal – 1991
Spain – 1991
Greece – 1992
Austria – 1995
Denmark – 1996
Finland – 1996
Iceland – 1996
Norway – 1996
Sweden – 1996
Czech Republic – 2003
Estonia – 2003
Hungary – 2003
Latvia – 2003
Lithuania – 2003
Malta – 2003
Poland – 2003
Liechtenstein – 2008
Pending Schengen Area Members
Following countries has dispute over becoming Schengen Area Members