European flags in front of the Berlaymont Building, Headquarters of the EC

Expansion of the Schengen area would encourage free movement.

Broadening the Borders

January 2011, Number 02.01

“In 1985, the governments of Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands signed a cooperative agreement in a small border town called Schengen that eliminated border checks among those countries. Taking the name of the Luxembourg town where the agreement was signed, the Schengen area lets participating countries’ citizens travel freely without having to show a visa or passport. Schengen’s goal is to ensure free movement of people, goods, services, labor and capital. From those beginnings 26 years ago, 25 countries, nearly all of the members of the European Union, have joined the Schengen area.

But in building this passport-free zone, Europe has striven to protect external borders against organized crime, drugs, terrorism and illegal immigration. If a criminal or terrorist slips across one Schengen country’s border, that country’s mistake becomes everyone’s mistake. The challenge for Europe is how to expand the Schengen zone in the spirit of welcoming immigrants and visitors, yet still maintain security...”

Excerpt from per Concordiam Staff, “Broadening the Borders,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 2, No. 1, 2011: 60-63.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.