Border control - one single EU border

  

One of the fundamental principles of the EU project is free movement: EU citizens should be able to move freely and easily between member states. This means the withering away of borders within the Union and, concomitantly, the strengthening of controls at external borders. 

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Overview

In 2004 the rights of EU citizens and their families to move and reside within the Union were set down in a codified and simple way in a single 
Directive
. There is an unrestricted right to travel with a valid passport and a right to reside for three months – thereafter a residence permit may be required. This directive must be transposed into member state law by March 2006.

At the same time progress is being made towards eradicating internal borders. The first step was the 1985 Schengen agreement, which became a Convention with nine signatories in 1995. The Amsterdam Treaty of 1999 incorporated the Schengen acquis (set of rules) into EU law and these are now recognised by all EU countries except the UK and Ireland. 

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