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Schengen Area

Area of 27 European states without mutual border controls / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Schengen Area (English: /ˈʃɛŋən/ SHENG-ən, Luxembourgish: [ˈʃæŋən] ) is an area encompassing 27 European countries that have officially abolished border controls at their mutual borders. Being an element within the wider area of freedom, security and justice policy of the European Union (EU), it mostly functions as a single jurisdiction under a common visa policy for international travel purposes. The area is named after the 1985 Schengen Agreement and the 1990 Schengen Convention, both signed in Schengen, Luxembourg.

Quick facts: Schengen Area, Type, Members, Establishment, ...
Schengen Area
Map of the Schengen Area
  Schengen Area
  Countries with open borders to the Schengen area
  Members of the EU committed by treaty to join the Schengen Area in the future
TypeOpen border area of the European Union
Establishment26 March 1995
4,368,693 km2 (1,686,762 sq mi)
96.9/km2 (251.0/sq mi)
GDP (nominal)2016 estimate
US$15 trillion[1]

Of the 27 EU member states, 23 participate in the Schengen Area. Of the four EU members that are not part of the Schengen Area, three — Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania — are legally obligated to join the area in the future; Ireland maintains an opt-out, and instead operates its own visa policy. The four European Free Trade Association (EFTA) member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, are not members of the EU, but have signed agreements in association with the Schengen Agreement. Also, three European microstatesMonaco, San Marino, and Vatican City—maintain open borders for passenger traffic with their neighbours, and are therefore considered de facto members of the Schengen Area.[2]

The Schengen Area has a population of more than 423 million people and an area of 4,368,693 square kilometres (1,686,762 sq mi).[3] About 1.7 million people commute to work across an internal European border each day, and in some regions these people constitute up to a third of the workforce. In 2015, there were 1.3 billion crossings of Schengen borders in total. Fifty-seven million crossings were due to transport of goods by road, with a value of €2.8 trillion.[4][5][6] The decrease in the cost of trade due to Schengen varies from 0.42% to 1.59% depending on geography, trade partners, and other factors. Countries outside of the Schengen Area also benefit.[7] States in the Schengen Area have strengthened border controls with non-Schengen countries.[8]

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