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Schengen Map

THE SCHENGEN AGREEMENT AND THE CONVENTION IMPLEMENTING THE SCHENGEN AGREEMENT

Parties to the Schengen Agreement:

Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Spain and Sweden.

History and Development of the Schengen Agreement

On 14 June 1985 the Federal Republic of Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed the Schengen Agreement (Schengen being a place in Luxembourg) on the gradual abolition of checks at their common borders.

On 19 June 1990 the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement was signed. Its key points relate to measures designed to create, following the abolition of common border checks, a common area of security and justice. Specifically it is concerned with:

  • harmonizing provisions relating to entry into and short stays in the Schengen area by non-EU citizens (uniform Schengen visa);
  • asylum matters (determining in which Member State an application for asylum may be submitted);
  • measures to combat cross-border drugs-related crime;
  • police cooperation (hot pursuit);
  • cooperation among Schengen states on judicial matters.

The Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement entered into force on 1 September 1993; its provisions could not take practical effect, however, until the necessary technical and legal prerequisites (such as data banks and the relevant data protection authorities) were in place. The Convention thus took practical effect on 26 March 1995 for the original Parties to the Schengen Agreement as well as for Spain and Portugal. Since 1995 Italy, Greece, Austria, Denmark, Finland and Sweden have acceded to the Convention, which only entered into force for the three Nordic countries on 25 March 2001. A Schengen cooperation agreement was concluded with the non-EU members of the Nordic Passport Union (Norway and Iceland) in 1996. Norway and Iceland have also fully implemented the Schengen regime since 25 March 2001.

Once checks at common borders are completely abolished, the holder of a uniform visa is entitled to stay in the above-mentioned 15 countries which apply the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement for a maximum of up to 90 days per six-month period during the visa's period of validity.

Key Points of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement

  • Citizens of countries implementing the Schengen Agreement (see item 1) can cross the internal borders of the implementing countries at any point without checks.
  • A visa with no territorial restrictions (visitor's or business visa allowing the holder to stay up to 90 days per six-month period, transit or airport visa) granted to a third-country national by one implementing country entitles the holder, for the same purpose and for the duration of the visa's validity, to enter without border checks other implementing countries as well.
  • Any third-country national with a residence permit valid in one implementing country may travel on a valid passport, without requiring a visa, for up to 90 days per six-month period to other implementing countries.
  • Harmonized visa policies of Schengen countries (common list of third countries whose nationals require visas).
  • External border checks according to a common Schengen standard.
  • Access by all Schengen countries to the Schengen Information System (SIS) providing personal identity and other data throughout the Schengen area.
  • Close police and judicial cooperation.
  • Joint efforts to combat drug-related crime.
  • Rules determining competence for asylum procedures (now largely replaced by similar provisions in the Dublin Convention of 15 June 1990).

Incorporation of the Schengen Agreement into the European Union

As from 1 May 1999 the Schengen Protocol to the Treaty of Amsterdam of 2 October 1997 incorporated Schengen cooperation into the framework of the EU.

The European Community thus acquired competence for large areas of the Schengen acquis (the Schengen Agreement and the various provisions adopted in this context) as well as its further development. For Britain, Ireland and Denmark special arrangements have been made. Although Britain and Ireland are not parties to the Schengen Agreement, they can, with the approval of the EU Council, apply the Schengen acquis in whole or in part and participate in its further development. Denmark will decide on a case-by-case basis whether to participate, under international law, in the further development of the acquis and to incorporate into its national law also Community law developed without its participation.

The cooperation agreements between the implementing countries and Norway and Iceland respectively have been replaced by association agreements with the EU, very similar in content, concluded on the basis of the Treaty of Amsterdam.

For EU citizens and third country nationals living in the EU the Schengen Agreement has resulted in substantially increased freedom of travel and improved safety within the Schengen countries and at their external border.

Selected legal provisions relating to the Schengen Agreement

1. Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the Gradual Abolition of Checks at their Common Borders: Joint Ministerial Gazette 1986, p. 79 ff.

2. Convention of 19 June 1990 Implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the Gradual Abolition of Checks at their Common Borders (Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement): Federal Law Gazette II 1993, p. 1013 ff.

3. Act of 15 July 1993 on the Schengen Agreement of 19 June 1990 on the Gradual Abolition of Checks at the Common Borders: Federal Law Gazette II 1993, p. 1010 ff.

4. Notification of 14 June 1985 of the Entry into Force of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement of 14 June 1985 between the Governments of the States of the Benelux Economic Union, the Federal Republic of Germany and the French Republic on the Gradual Abolition of Checks at their Common Borders: Federal Law Gazette II 1994, p. 631 ff.

5. Treaty of Amsterdam of 2 October 1997 (Federal Law Gazette 1998 II, p. 386).

Source:http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/www/en/willkommen/einreisebestimmungen/

The project is funded by the European Union The project is co-funded and implemented by
UNDP Moldova