Ministry of the interior of the Czech Republic  


Modern Administration

Quick links: Sitemap Text version Česky Fulltext search


Main menu



Basic Information on Schengen Cooperation

 Česky    Deutsch

Basic Information on Schengen Cooperation

Schengen cooperation is a term denoting cooperation of countries within what is referred to as the "Schengen Area", for which the abbreviation "Schengen" has been coined. This area consists of the territories of states on whose mutual borders no border checks are carried out1 and which compensate for the missing border checks by a comprehensively conceived system of measures in many areas. In principle, the internal border may be crossed at any place and at any time of day or night. Protection of borders focuses on what is referred to as the “external Schengen borders” (land borders, international airports and sea ports) and is accompanied by close cooperation of the Member States in police, judicial, visa-related and other matters, including strict rules for the protection of personal data.

At present, the Schengen Area comprises 26 states: the 22 EU Member States, plus Norway, Iceland, Switzerland and, since 19 December 2011, also Lichtenstein. Conversely, two of the long-established EU Member States (the United Kingdom and Ireland) are not a part of the Schengen Area; they participate only in some of the aspects of police and judicial cooperation in criminal cases. Another 4 EU Member States have also remained outside the Schengen Area: Cyprus, Croatia, Bulgaria and Romania.

Commencement of Schengen cooperation is associated with the year 1985, when the representatives of five states (Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands) signed what is known as the Schengen Agreement in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg. With their initiative, they decided on gradual abolishment of checks on their mutual state borders and laid down the cornerstone for the gradually increasing cooperation under Schengen.


1) In the case of Switzerland, checks of goods are still carried out at the border. The reason for this is that Switzerland is not a part of the EU customs union.

Print  E-mail