The authoritative source for independent research on UK-EU relations

A Changing EU

This fact was correct when it was updated on 24 Sep 2020

What is the Schengen area?

The Schengen area is an agreement between 22 EU member states and the four countries of the European Free Trade Association to remove regular checks on the movement of people between them. In simple terms, it permits free movement between these countries. The agreement establishes common rules on the management of internal borders between members and also external borders. Temporary closures of borders is permitted in the event of emergencies, such as the coronavirus outbreak. Ireland received an opt out and is not part of the Schengen area, and nor are Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus and Romania.

More facts you may be interested in

What is the Crown Steward and Bailiff of the Chiltern Hundreds?

29 Aug 2023

What is an interim measure (or Rule 39 order) of the European Court of Human Rights?

14 Aug 2023

What is an Autumn Statement? 

17 Nov 2022