Easier to fly within EU come Sunday
27 March 2008
BRUSSELS – The border checks at airports in the new Schengen countries will be scrapped with effect from this coming Sunday. The land and sea borders with the nine new members were already fully opened in December last year.
The air borders could not yet be opened at that point because the international flight schedules change only twice a year, in autumn and spring.
The opening of the borders also led to technical problems at some airports. Passengers travelling within the Schengen area must be strictly separated from other international travellers.
For air passengers the opening of the borders means that they will also be able to fly to EU countries in Eastern Europe without border checks.
The airports in Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Malta will now be accessible to Schengen travellers without any border checks. The security checks for boarding aircraft remain in effect.
The European border treaty was named after the Luxembourg town of Schengen, where the governments of the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg, Germany and France made the decision to open their borders in 1985,
Until 22 December 2007 the Schengen area consisted of the 15 ‘old’ EU countries, with the exception of the UK and Ireland, and with the addition with non-EU countries Norway and Iceland.
The Schengen area now covers 24 countries. Cyprus, Romania, Bulgaria and non-EU member Switzerland are expected to join Schengen in the coming years.
[Copyright Expatica News + ANP 2008]