12 Sep Bbc News Schengen Agreement
Agreement between France and Italy on border checks. Video, 00:01:50Acord between France and Italy A short-stay visa costs €60 (£46; $66), but only €35 for Russians, Ukrainians and citizens of some other countries under visa facilitation agreements. Differences of opinion between member states led to an impasse over the abolition of border controls within the Community, but in 1985 five of the then ten Member States – Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany – signed an agreement on the phasing out of checks at common borders. The agreement was signed on the princess marie-astrid boat on the Moselle, near the city of Schengen, Luxembourg, where the territories of France, Germany and Luxembourg meet. Three of the signatories, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, had already abolished common border controls within the framework of the Benelux Economic Union. [Citation required] Now that the Schengen Agreement is part of the acquis communautaire, it has lost for the EU Member States the status of a treaty that could only be modified on its terms. Instead, changes are made in accordance with the EU`s legislative procedure under the EU Treaties.  Ratification by the former signatory states of the Convention is not necessary to amend or repeal part or all of the previous Schengen acquis.  Acts laying down the conditions for accession to the Schengen area are now adopted by majority decision in the EU`s legislative bodies. The new EU Member States do not sign the Schengen Agreement as such, but are required to implement the Schengen rules within the framework of existing EU legislation that any new entrant must accept. [Citation required] It takes its name from the city of Schengen in Luxembourg, where the agreement was signed in 1985. It entered into force in 1995. This situation means that non-Schengen EU states have few formally binding options to influence the development and development of Schengen rules; their options will be effectively reduced to approval or withdrawal from the agreement.
However, prior to the adoption of certain new legislation, consultations will be held with the countries concerned.  In December 1996, two non-EU states, Norway and Iceland, signed an Association Agreement with the signatories to the Agreement to become part of the Schengen area. Although this agreement never entered into force, both countries became part of the Schengen area after similar agreements were concluded with the EU.  The Schengen Convention itself has not been signed by non-EU states.  In 2009, Switzerland concluded its official accession to the Schengen area with the adoption of an Association Agreement by referendum in 2005.  The November 13 attacks in Paris, which killed 130 people, sparked an urgent change of mentality in the Schengen agreements. The United Kingdom and Ireland have participated in certain aspects of the Schengen Agreement since 2000 and 2002, such as the Schengen Information System (SIS). . . .