Schengen States??

Jun 12th, 2001, 08:56 AM
Gerry K
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Schengen States??

What exactly are the Schengen States,
and why are they so called?


Gerry K
Jun 12th, 2001, 09:03 AM
russ i
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Below you will find an 1997 Economist article that I copied from

Dateline: SCHENGEN

IT IS a sleepy Luxembourg village nestling in a bend in the Moselle river, with tidy vineyards stretched above it. Walk south across a bridge, and you turn right into France and left into Germany. Two crumbling customs posts sit in the middle of the road, mute symbols of the event for which Schengen is famous: two accords to scrap Europe's frontier controls that were signed here in 1985 and 1990.

Since then, 15 countries have joined Schengen: all EU members bar Britain and Ireland, plus Norway and Iceland from outside the EU. So presumably one can drive unobstructed and without having to show a passport from Bremen to Bari, or from Leipzig to Lisbon? This being Europe, things are not quite so simple.

For a start, several Schengen countries are not full members. The core group comprises the five original signatories-Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands-plus Spain and Portugal. The Nordic countries long since abolished border controls between themselves (hence Norway's and Iceland's adherence to Schengen), but none is yet fully integrated in the Schengen club, or expected to be before 2000. Greece will not be a full member until it satisfies the rest that its border checks are reliable; this is not likely for a year or more.

Italy's status is odder still. In late October champagne was on offer at Milan and Rome airports to mark the country's full membership of Schengen. But this applies to air travel only: road travellers who cross the Italian border will need their passports for a while yet. And in practice most people flying from Italy to Brussels or Amsterdam have found they still have to show their passports. Other Schengen countries-including Austria, which is to become a full member next spring-remain highly dubious about Italy's apparently lax controls over illegal immigrants, many of whom move on to other EU countries.

Besides all this, even full members of Schengen do not always apply the rules. The treaty has a safeguard clause that any country can invoke if it wishes to retain or impose border controls. Most notably, France refuses to scrap checks on its northern border with Belgium and Luxembourg: it objects to soft drugs' free availability in the Netherlands. Neither the Dutch nor the French show any sign of changing their policy. Both Austria and Germany have already talked of invoking a similar clause against Italy.

In short, frontier controls are indeed disappearing inside the Schengen area. But mundane reality tends to lag somewhat behind the grand promises.

Jun 12th, 2001, 09:14 AM
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I can't remember off the top of my head who's inand who's out, but it's most countries in the EU who allow passage of people across their borders without passport control: ie it establishes as single boundary.

It's called after the place the treaty was signed.
Jun 12th, 2001, 09:53 AM
Gerry K
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Russ & Sheila,

Many thanks,

Gerry K
Jun 19th, 2001, 12:06 AM
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Adding a little: all Nordic countries are part of Schengen from spring 2001. As there have been no border checks or formalities btw the Nordic countries, also Iceland and Norway (not EU members) are part of it. But note also that Great Britain and Ireland are not part of Schengen.
Jun 20th, 2001, 08:59 AM
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I believe Switzerland is also not part of the collection their entry policy is one of the easiest in Europe, France and Italy are part of it.
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