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Study Notes

What is the Schengen Agreement?

AQA, Edexcel, OCR, IB

Last updated 13 Feb 2023

In January 2023, Croatia became the latest European Union country to enter the Schengen Agreement. But what is it?

The Schengen Agreement is a treaty that was signed in the village of Schengen in Luxembourg in 1985 between five of the ten member countries of the then European Economic Community (EEC). The treaty created a single set of rules governing the movement of people within the signatory countries, allowing for the free movement of citizens between those countries without the need for passport controls.

The agreement has since been expanded to include most of the countries of the European Union (EU), as well as a few non-EU countries. Currently, 27 countries are party to the Schengen Agreement, including most of the EU member states, as well as a few non-EU countries such as Iceland, Norway, and Switzerland.

The Schengen Agreement has had a significant impact on the free movement of people within Europe and is seen as an important symbol of European integration.

However, the agreement has also been the subject of controversy, with some arguing that it has contributed to the problem of illegal immigration and has made it more difficult to protect the EU's external borders.

Useful reference: Schengen Area – The World’s Largest Visa Free Zone

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