Nordic countries join Schengen

Five Nordic countries join Schengen area bringing the number of members to 15

The Schengen area of free movement of people in Europe will be extended to five Nordic countries, joined in the Nordic passport union, on 26 March. Denmark, Finland and Sweden will become members of the Schengen Agreement, while Norway and Iceland as non-EU countries will become associated members.

The Schengen area will now consist of 15 countries: Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, Italy, Luxembourg, Norway, Spain, Portugal and Sweden. Citizens of the five Nordic countries will not have to show their passports upon entering the Schengen area countries anymore.

The Schengen Agreement, signed on 14 June 1985 by Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, gradually removed their common frontier controls and introduced freedom of movement of people between the signatories. Italy signed the agreement in 1990, Spain and Portugal in 1991, Greece in 1992, Austria in 1995, Sweden, Finland and Denmark in 1996, and Norway and Iceland in 1999.

The EU Treaty of Amsterdam incorporated the Schengen rules into the European Union from 1 May 1999 onwards. This facilitates the implementation of free movement of persons, one of the four basic freedoms in the EU's internal market.

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