The “Schengen Agreements” is a system of two international treaties that were signed in the second half of 1980-s in Schengen by several Member States of the European Communities (the term “Schengen” in the title refers to the name of the ancient castle in Luxembourg built in the XIV century and to the surrounding village as well). The “Schengen Agreements” are:


–        the “Agreement between the Governments of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the FrenchRepublic on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders” (the Schengen Agreement of 1985);


–        the “Convention implementing the Schengen Agreement ” (the Schengen Convention of 1990);
The Schengen Agreements have as their principal objective to abolish the checks on persons crossing the borders between the EU Member States (the “common” or the “internal” borders). This resulted in the establishment of the “Schengen Area” (the name “Schengen zone” is also in use). The circulation of individuals moving inside the Schengen Area is unhindered while for those who wish to cross from outside its external boundaries a uniform (Schengen) visa is envisaged.


The Schengen visa is valid throughout the entire territory of the Schengen Area. It is always a short-stay (no more than 3 months within the 6-months period) or a transit visa.
Along with the rules governing the crossing of the internal or the external border, the Schengen Agreements contain those concerning the protection of law and order as well as the combating crime.
The Schengen Agreements constitute the legal base for a special information system connecting together the law enforcement bodies of the Member States. It is called the “Schengen Information System”.
Initially, only 5 Member States of the European Communities had signed the Schengen Agreements. The other Member States of the European Union later followed suit except the United Kingdom and Ireland. Island and Norway have become the associated parties to the Schengen Agreements.
Since May 1, 1999 both the Schengen Agreements and the normative acts for which they constitute a legal base are integrated into the legal system of the European Union.
Schengen Members:

  Austria

Belgium

Denmark

Finland

France

Germany

Greece

Iceland

Italy

Luxembourg

Netherlands 

Norway

Portugal

Spain

Sweden


 

 

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