Schengen Area

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European Union (EU).

Collective term for the 27 European countries - 23 EU member states, plus four other countries - which have open borders between them.

The participating EU member states are:

Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

The other four members of the Schengen Area - that are not members of the EU - are:

Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland.

EU member states expected to join Schengen

The following EU member states are expected to join the Schengen Area in due course:

Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania.

EU member state opted out of Schengen

Ireland has opted out of the Schengen arrangements.


The originating Schengen Agreement was signed in 1985 in the Luxembourg village of Schengen, by five countries:

Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands.

See also