The Schengen Effect

There is growing scepticism about the Schengen amongst European states at a time when when there should be optimism. Europe’s passport-free zone is expanding. Bulgaria and Romania have just joined, but the Schengen pact is under pressure as Greece struggles to curb its influx of migrants from it’s border with Turkey. The recent wave of Tunisians flooding in to Italy is also raising concerns and the stronger members of the treaty such as France and Italy are now calling for a review. But what is the Schengen, why do more countries want to join and how will it affect their economy?

Before 1914 it was possible to travel across vast chunks of Europe without any sort of border check. World War1 changed all of that and the practice of issuing passports has remained prerequisite to crossing national boundaries in Europe until 1985 when the Schengen treaty was signed. The treaty which was signed in Luxembourg was initially an agreement between five of the European Economic Community. It has since led to a passport-free travel zone for 400 million people in the 22 European Union countries, as well as for Iceland and Norway.

Its extension is seen by many experts as positive for symbolic and practical reasons. It is symbolic, because it is an important step in the political and economic integration of more countries into the EU. It is practical, because it enables citizens of newer states to travel freely, which in principle should lead to greater stability as social and cultural connections across Europe strengthen.

Its impact on tourism will also be tremendous, so get booking if you would like to visit and avoid the rush Bucharest hotel. The recent expansion will allow Schengen citizens, or residents who have the visa to visit Romania and Bulgaria. The down side however, is that holiday costs will inevitably rise with demand and a lot of us will no longer be able to afford to stay in places such as the Athenee Palace Hilton Bucharest hotels which is a bargain if you are paid in Euros or Pounds…

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July 6, 2011 | Author: | Posted in Politics

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