Here’s a Flashback to the Birth of the Schengen Visa

On June 14, 1985, or 39 years ago, the Schengen Agreement was signed in Schengen City, Luxembourg. This international convention laid the foundation for what we now know as the Schengen Visa, enabling seamless travel across member countries.

39 Years of the Schengen Agreement: A Journey Through History

On June 14, 1985, the Schengen Agreement was signed in Schengen City, Luxembourg. This landmark international convention marked the beginning of a new era of travel freedom within Europe.

Initially signed by Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands, the Schengen Agreement aimed to reduce internal border controls. The ultimate goal was to allow the free movement of people between countries within the Schengen area.

The agreement came into effect in March 1995 and was soon followed by the inclusion of Italy, Spain, Portugal, and Greece. The Schengen area continued to expand with Austria, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway, and Sweden joining the original signatories.

In 2007, the Schengen zone grew further to include the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia, and Slovenia. The expansion continued with Switzerland in 2008, Liechtenstein in 2011, and Croatia in 2023.

Today, the Schengen zone boasts 29 member countries, having undergone nine expansions since its inception. The latest countries to join the Schengen area are Bulgaria and Romania, who became part of this agreement along with 27 other member nations in March 2023.

The Schengen Agreement has significantly impacted travel, commerce, and cultural exchange in Europe. It stands as a testament to the vision of a unified, borderless Europe, where people can move freely and experience the rich diversity of the continent.

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