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European Union - The Schengen Area creation

Updated on August 4, 2013



The Schengen Idea was Born

The European idea of free movement was put into practice by the BENELUX (Belgium, Netherlands and Luxemburg) countries, starting from April 11, 1960. During the Rambouillet Summit (18-19 May 1985) was discussed the issue of removing the barriers to the free movement of persons, and in 13 June 1984 the Sarrebruk Agreement on gradual abolition at Franco-German border, in which BENELUX countries joined.

The Agreements were signed

The Schengen Agreements are constituted by a convention of 33 articles, signed at 14 June 1985 by France, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Luxemburg and a convention of applying the Schengen system starting 19 June 1990.The convention had 142 articles regarding harmonization of visa policy.

The necessity of compensatory measures

The signatory states considered necessary the development of compensatory measures to compensate for the abolition of internal border controls for any traffic, including by air, sea and railway, and to prevent jeopardizing the security inside the joint space.

Rules and Documents for the Rules

The practical application of the system required the implementation of business rules, cooperation and mutual information between the member states.For this, Schengen committees developed and included the following documents:

- Schengen Manual for external border controls;

- The Common Consular Instructions for Schengen representatives abroad;

- The Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry (SIRNE) Manual for the application of the Schengen Information System;

- Procedure Guide for cross border police cooperation.

Measures needed for security

The compensatory measures for ensuring the security of the Schengen space were:

- strengthening the controls at external borders;

- introduction of informational system in the entire Schengen space;

- exercise of the right of tracking across national borders;

- exercise of the right of border surveillance;

- police cooperation.

New members

After the 5 signatory states, other countries joined, like Italy (27 November 1990), Spain and Portugal (25 June 1991), Greece (6 November 1992), Austria (24 March 1995), Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden (19 December 1996).At short time after the last countries joined, Denmark retreats from the Agreement after an internal referendum..

The European Union Flag


Becoming part of EU's founding Treaty

In 1997, the Agreement became part of the European Union’s founding Treaty.The legislation was included in EU by being adopted in the Schengen Acquis Protocol.

New members had to make a lot of improvements and they spent a lot of money in this matter.A lot of safety measures were taken to prevent illegal immigration and crime.

2013 - All members

Now in 2013, the Schengen members are:

- Austria

- Belgium

- Czech Republic

- Denmark (excluding Greenland and the Faroe Islands)

- Estonia

- Finland

- France (excluding overseas departments and territories)

- Germany

- Greece

- Hungary

- Iceland

- Italy

- Latvia

- Liechtenstein

- Lithuania

- Luxemburg

- Malta

- Netherlands (excluding Aruba, Curacao, Sint Maarten and the Caribbean Netherlands)

- Norway (excluding Svalbard)

- Poland

- Portugal

- Slovakia

- Slovenia

- Spain (with special provisions for Ceuta and Melilla)

- Sweden

- Switzerland.

Actual and future members

 Dark Blue - Schengen Area (EU)   Light Blue - Schengen Area (non-EU)   Yellow - Set to implement later  Green - EU member states outside Schengen
Dark Blue - Schengen Area (EU) Light Blue - Schengen Area (non-EU) Yellow - Set to implement later Green - EU member states outside Schengen | Source

Schengen Area population

The total Schengen Area population is around 419,392,429.

Future members

The members that want to join the Schengen Area in the future are:

- Bulgaria

- Croatia

- Cyprus

- Romania.


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