The Schengen Agreement is a treaty, which abolished many of the EU’s international borders, enabling the passport-free movement across most of the bloc.
The first Schengen Agreement was signed in 1985 in Schengen, Luxembourg. Five countries (Germany, France, Belgium, Luxembourg and Netherlands) were part of the Agreement, which took effect in 1995. Today there are 26 Schengen countries – 22 are EU members and four non-EU. The aims of the treaty were, that citizens could cross the international border without a passport control. The Schengen countries were committing themselves to increase control the External border, to avoid safety risks.
But how can Europe’s migrant crisis be putting the Schengen Agreement at risk?
Refugees are meant to register in the first country they enter (under the Dublin convention) but many migrants are using the Schengen agreement’s lack of border controls to cross through Europe unnoticed, travelling from countries who are averse to giving them asylum to the ones that will. According to German chancellor Angela Merkel unless all European countries agree to share responsibility for refugees the agreement will be a risk as it will allow too many people to travel through Europe unchecked. According to British Home secretary Theresa May allowing people to move freely through Europe without border checks is exacerbating the migrant crisis.