On this page, you can find general information regarding the Schengen Agreement
The Schengen area and cooperation are founded on the Schengen Agreement of 1985. The Schengen area represents a territory where the free movement of persons is guaranteed. The signatory states to the agreement have abolished all internal borders in lieu of a single external border. Here common rules and procedures are applied with regard to visas for short stays, asylum requests and border controls. Simultaneously, to guarantee security within the Schengen area, cooperation and coordination between police services and judicial authorities have been stepped up. Schengen cooperation has been incorporated into the European Union (EU) legal framework by the Treaty of Amsterdam of 1997. However, all countries cooperating in Schengen are not parties to the Schengen area. This is either because they do not wish to eliminate border controls or because they do not yet fulfil the required conditions for the application of the Schengen acquis.
Key rules adopted within the Schengen framework include:
• Removal of checks on persons at the internal borders;
• A common set of rules applying to people crossing the external borders of the EU Member States;
• Harmonisation of the conditions of entry and of the rules on visas for short stays;
• Enhanced police cooperation (including rights of cross-border surveillance and hot pursuit);
• Stronger judicial cooperation through a faster extradition system and transfer of enforcement of criminal judgments;
• Establishment and development of the Schengen Information System (SIS).
The Schengen Information System (SIS)
At the heart of the Schengen mechanism, an information system was set up. It allows national border control and judicial authorities to obtain information on persons or objects.
Member States supply information to the system through national networks (N-SIS) connected to a central system (C-SIS). This IT system is supplemented by a network known as SIRENE (Supplementary Information Request at the National Entry), which is the human interface of the SIS.
Information sheet on issued visas