Romania and Bulgaria Joined Europe’s Schengen Area Today

by Anthony Losanno

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Romania and Bulgaria partially joined Europe’s ID-check-free travel today, which marks another step in these two countries’ journey to become part of the European Union (EU). There is now free access for travelers arriving by air or sea, but land crossings will still require border checks.

The Schengen Area is made up of 29 European countries that have officially abolished border controls and allow free passage between nations. The agreement was signed by ten countries in June 1985 in the town of Schengen, Luxembourg. These include:

  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bulgaria
  • Croatia
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Greece
  • Hungary
  • Iceland
  • Italy
  • Latvia
  • Liechtenstein
  • Lithuania
  • Luxembourg
  • Malta
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Romania
  • Slovakia
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland

EU Commission President Ursula von der Leyen called the addition of Bulgaria and Romania a “huge success for both countries” and a “historic moment” for the world’s largest free travel zone. While both countries joined the EU in 2007, Austria vetoed their admission into the Schengen Area in 2022 over immigration concerns.

Anthony’s Take: I love that when I land in one EU country and go through passport control that I’m then free to then travel between countries without all of the time spent in immigration.

(Featured Image Credit: AlxeyPnferov.)

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