Schengen Agreement Eu Law

The Schengen Agreement: An Explainer on EU Law

The Schengen Agreement is a cornerstone of European Union law that aims to abolish border controls within the EU`s member states. It is named after the small town of Schengen in Luxembourg where the agreement was signed in 1985.

The agreement established a free movement area between participating countries, allowing EU citizens and non-EU nationals to travel between member states without having their passports checked at every border. The agreement also abolished internal borders within the EU, allowing people to cross freely without the need for border checks.

The Schengen Area comprises 26 European countries, including 22 EU member states and four non-EU countries: Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland. These countries work together to maintain a common external border and manage the free movement of people within the Schengen Area.

The Schengen Agreement is based on two fundamental principles: the principle of free movement and the principle of security. The principle of free movement allows for the free movement of people within the Schengen Area, while the principle of security ensures that the external borders of the Schengen Area are protected.

To ensure the security of the Schengen Area, the agreement established a common visa policy, a common database of individuals who may pose a threat to security, and enhanced police and judicial cooperation between participating countries.

The Schengen Agreement has brought many benefits to the EU, including increased freedom, economic benefits, and enhanced security. However, it has also faced challenges, particularly in the area of migration and asylum.

The 2015-2016 migration crisis led to the temporary reintroduction of border controls in some Schengen countries. In response, the EU launched the European Border and Coast Guard Agency to strengthen the management of the Schengen external border.

Despite these challenges, the Schengen Agreement is an essential part of EU law and serves as a symbol of European unity and cooperation. It has helped to create a more integrated and mobile Europe, and has facilitated the free movement of people, goods, and services within the EU.

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