The Schengen Area was established in 1985 through the signing of the Schengen Agreement, which aimed to create a more open and integrated Europe by eliminating the need for border checks between member states. Today, the Schengen Area includes countries such as France, Germany, Spain, and Italy, as well as non-EU members like Iceland and Switzerland.
One of the most notable benefits of the Schengen Area is the ease of travel for its citizens and visitors. With no border checks, travelers can move freely between countries without the need for visas or other documents. This allows for seamless travel throughout the region, making it a popular destination for tourists and business professionals.
The Schengen Area also helps to promote economic growth and trade within the region. The elimination of border checks allows for the free movement of goods and services, making it easier for businesses to operate across multiple countries. This helps to create a more integrated market and can lead to increased competition, which can ultimately benefit consumers.
Despite its benefits, the Schengen Area has faced its share of challenges. The most pressing issue has been the ongoing refugee crisis, which has put pressure on the area’s border control and migration policies. Additionally, the area has faced criticism for its handling of security and terrorism, with some countries calling for stricter border controls to prevent the movement of potential threats.
In conclusion, the Schengen Area is an important aspect of European integration and cooperation. The elimination of border checks has made travel and trade within the region more convenient, but it also poses challenges to the area’s security and migration policies. As the world continues to change, the Schengen Area will need to adapt and evolve in order to meet the needs of its citizens and visitors.
The Schengen Area currently includes 26 European countries:
- Czech Republic
For the UK situation please read this article.