Which countries are not part of the Schengen area?
This question frequently causes considerable misunderstanding. In reality, it is common to state that all of the European Union’s countries are part of the Schengen zone. This is not correct. Some EU member nations are not yet party to the Schengen accords, but will be in the future:
Another case in point is Ireland, which, although being a member of the European Union, has opted not to join the Schengen region. Similar to the situation in the rest of the United Kingdom, which just left the EU, it is neither a member of the Schengen region or the EU.
Finally, there is the situation in Andorra. Indeed, the small and beautiful Pyrenees country, located between France and Spain, is not a member of the EU or the Schengen zone. As a result, entering and leaving Andorra is subject to immigration and customs controls.
Collaboration between the police and greater controls at external borders
Collaboration between diverse national police agencies is one of the key goals of the Schengen region. Controls and activities to combat both organised crime and terrorist actions are therefore strengthened.
As we have seen, the Schengen region provides for unfettered internal movement, therefore there are no longer border restrictions between European countries. This also allowed for tighter external controls. Simply put, citizens from states outside the European Union have more control over their citizens, including Europeans. The goal is, of course, increased security within the agreement area.
Temporary abolition of the Schengen area
In some exceptional and transitory circumstances, governments may choose to tighten controls or even suspend the Schengen accord. This step, of course, must be prompted by a serious and pressing purpose, such as the protection of the country from major dangers to public order and internal security, such as terrorism.
It has happened multiple times in recent years, although only for a short time. The suspension of the agreement does not mean that the borders are closed, but that there will be extra inspections to enter a state that has stopped the accord.
Italy has only suspended the agreement three times, and each time it coincided with gatherings of European political leaders (G8 in Genoa and L’Aquila, and G7 in Bari and Taormina). He took this measure in order to maintain control and avoid violent protestors among the approaching populace.
Due to the Covid-19 outbreak, several Schengen member states briefly restored border crossing restrictions for all foreign visitors in 2020.
The advantages of Schengen
Among the most significant advantages of this agreement is the ability for individuals to move from one nation to another at any time. This has resulted in an increase in the number of European citizens travelling to other nations, which has significant tourism advantages.
It is no accident that foreigners account for nearly half of all hotel bookings in Italy. Every day, it is believed that about three million individuals pass European borders without being subjected to severe border controls.
This open area also aided in the transportation of commodities, strengthening links between European enterprises and significantly increasing their share of export products. It is no coincidence that a sudden border shutdown would result in a loss of 100 to 230 billion euros in just ten years.