Countries under Schengen Agreement

The Schengen Agreement, signed in 1985, is an agreement between 26 European countries that allows free movement of people within the Schengen Area. This agreement has been in effect since 1995 and has revolutionized travel within Europe. It has simplified travel for both tourists and businesspersons, as they no longer have to pass through border controls when traveling within the Schengen Area.

The Schengen Area is composed of 26 countries, including 22 member states of the European Union (EU) and 4 non-EU member states. These countries are Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland.

Citizens of countries that are members of the Schengen Area can travel freely without having to go through passport controls at internal borders. This means that once you have entered the Schengen Area, you can travel freely without having your passport checked again until you leave the area.

However, not all EU countries are members of the Schengen Agreement. The United Kingdom and Ireland, for example, have opted out of the agreement and maintain their own border controls. Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania are also not members of the Schengen Area, despite being members of the EU.

It is important to note that just because a country is a member of the EU, it does not automatically mean it is a member of the Schengen Agreement. For example, some small island territories that are part of EU member states are not part of the Schengen Area.

Overall, the Schengen Agreement has made travel within Europe much easier and more efficient. Citizens of member states can enjoy the benefits of free movement across borders without the need for passports or other documentation. However, it is important to stay up to date with the latest regulations and procedures when travelling to any Schengen Area country.