Schengen Area

Schengen Area
The Schengen Area
Map of Europe
  Member states
  Countries de facto participating
  Members of the EU legally obliged to join the Schengen area, but not yet members
Policy of European Union
TypeOpen borders area
Area4,312,099 km2 (1,664,911 sq mi)
GDP (Nominal)US$15 trillion[1]
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The Schengen Area ( ən/) is an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished all passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The area mostly functions as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The area is named after the 1985 Schengen Agreement.

22 of the 28 EU member states participate in the Schengen Area. Of the six EU members that are not part of the Schengen Area, four—Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania—are legally obliged to join the area in the future, while the other two—Ireland and the United Kingdom—maintain opt-outs. 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. Three European microstates that are not members of the European Union but which are enclaves or semi-enclave within an EU member state—Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City—are de facto part of the Schengen Area.

The Schengen Area has a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometres (1,664,911 sq mi).[2] About 1.7 million people commute to work across a European border each day, and in some regions these people constitute up to a third of the workforce. Each year, there are 1.3 billion crossings of Schengen borders in total. 57 million crossings are due to transport of goods by road, with a value of €2.8 trillion each year.[3][4][5] 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.[6]States in the Schengen Area have strengthened border controls with non-Schengen countries.[7]


The Schengen Agreement was signed on 14 June 1985 by five of the ten EEC member states[8] in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg. The Schengen Area was established separately from the European Economic Community, when consensus could not be reached among all EC member states on the abolition of border controls.

The Agreement was supplemented in 1990 by the Schengen Convention, which proposed the abolition of internal border controls and a common visa policy.[9] The Agreements and the rules adopted under them were entirely separate from the EC structures, and led to the creation of the Schengen Area on 26 March 1995.[10]

As more EU member states signed the Schengen Agreement, consensus was reached on absorbing it into the procedures of the EU. The Agreement and its related conventions were incorporated into the mainstream of European Union law by the Amsterdam Treaty in 1997, which came into effect in 1999. A consequence of the Agreement being part of European law is that any amendment or regulation is made within its processes, in which the non-EU members are not participants. The UK and Ireland have maintained a Common Travel Area (CTA) since 1923, but the UK could not accept abolishing border controls and was, therefore, granted a full opt-out from the area. While not signing the Schengen Treaty, Ireland has always looked more favourably on joining but has not done so to maintain the CTA and its open border with Northern Ireland.[11] The Nordic members required Norway and Iceland to be included, which was accepted, so a consensus could be reached.[citation needed]

Other Languages
العربية: منطقة شنغن
azərbaycanca: Şengen zonası
беларуская: Шэнгенская зона
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Шэнгенская зона
Esperanto: Schengen-spaco
føroyskt: Schengen økið
français: Espace Schengen
한국어: 솅겐 지역
հայերեն: Շենգեն գոտի
Bahasa Indonesia: Kawasan Schengen
italiano: Spazio Schengen
македонски: Шенген-зона
მარგალური: შენგენიშ ზონა
Bahasa Melayu: Kawasan Schengen
پنجابی: شنجن دیس
Simple English: Schengen Area
slovenščina: Schengensko območje
српски / srpski: Шенгенска зона
українська: Шенгенська зона
吴语: 申根区
ייִדיש: שענגען זאנע
中文: 申根区