Before entering the Schengen Area, visitors will be required to register with ETIAS (The European Travel Information and Authorisation System).
The European Union (EU) created ETIAS to improve border control and security in the Schengen Area.
As the November 2023 start date of ETIAS approaches, several travellers are unsure of what they will need to do to visit Europe.
This is largely due to uncertainty regarding which nations are members of the Schengen Area, which are part of the EU, and which will require ETIAS.
The United Kingdom’s withdrawal from the EU following Brexit has raised new concerns about European tourism.
This article explains the distinctions between the European Union and the Schengen Area, as well as the locations where ETIAS will be necessary if completely implemented.
WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE EU AND THE SCHENGEN ZONE?
In summary, they are two distinct entities, despite the fact that many nations are included in both. The European Union is a political and economic union, whereas the Schengen Area provides for free movement of persons among participating nations.
IS ETIAS FOR TRAVEL TO EU OR SCHENGEN AREA?
ETIAS is not available in all European nations. The ETIAS travel authorization allows admission to all Schengen Area countries as well as several that are in the process of joining.
ETIAS nations and Schengen countries are the same; an ETIAS permit is similar to a Schengen visa, but only for visa-exempt travellers.
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WHAT IS THE EUROPEAN UNION?
The European Union (EU) is a political and economic union made up of 27 member countries.
Belgium, France, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and West Germany signed the Treaty of Paris in 1951 to establish the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC).
Over the next few decades, the community grew to be known as the European Union.
Many parts of EU policymaking, including foreign policy, are autonomous, although they are bound by the EU’s judicial and legislative institutions.
Despite the fact that each member state has its own government, there are shared laws that cover a variety of topics like as commerce, agriculture, and regional development.
The free movement of people, products, services, and money is enabled through the EU single market. EU citizens have the right to study, work, reside, and retire in any nation in the European Union.
These rights, however, do not extend to people of non-EU nations. Visitors to the EU can travel freely between Schengen nations after entering one of them, however not all EU countries are Schengen countries.
LIST OF EUROPEAN UNION COUNTRIES
The European Union does not include all European nations. The EU now consists of 27 European nations, with more member states anticipated to join in the future.
The EU’s 27 member states are as follows:
EUROPEAN COUNTRIES NOT IN THE EU
Some European nations are not members of the European Union, while others are candidates for membership and are in the process of joining. A list of non-EU nations is provided below, along with an indication of EU candidates and potential candidates.
- Albania *
- Bosnia and Herzegovina**
- North Macedonia*
- San Marino
- United Kingdom
Candidate nations for the EU* Potential candidate countries**
WHAT IS THE SCHENGEN AREA?
The Schengen Area is a travel zone comprised of European countries. Checkpoints at Schengen countries’ common borders have been eliminated.
For visitors to the EU, this implies that the Schengen Area functions as if it were a single nation. After passing across an external Schengen border, travellers can visit any of the 26 Schengen nations, including Schengen candidates, without having to show their passport.
WHAT DOES SCHENGEN MEAN?
People frequently inquire what the term “Schengen” implies. The Schengen Area is named after the Luxembourg town of Schengen, where the initial agreement was signed in June 1985.
WHAT ARE THE SCHENGEN COUNTRIES?
The European nations that have signed the Schengen Agreement are known as Schengen countries. These nations have no internal border controls, which allows for unrestricted travel.
Schengen now has 26 member nations. The majority are European Union member countries (EU). Ireland is the sole EU member state that has opted out of the Schengen Agreement.
There are also four nations in the Schengen Area that are not EU members:
Monaco, Vatican City, and San Marino are all de facto members of the Schengen Area.
FULL LIST OF SCHENGEN COUNTRIES
- the Czech Republic
- the Netherlands
De facto European microstates in the Schengen Area:
- San Marino
- Vatican City
Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania are in the process of becoming members of the Schengen Area, and ETIAS will apply once they are fully operational.
NON-SCHENGEN COUNTRIES IN EUROPE
The following is a list of European nations that are not now members of the Schengen Area.
- Bosnia and Herzegovina
- Holy See
- North Macedonia
- United Kingdom
ETIAS will be necessary for Schengen applicants.
ARE THE EU COUNTRIES AND THE SCHENGEN COUNTRIES THE SAME?
No, there are non-EU nations that are members of the Schengen Area (Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland).
Despite not being legal members of the EU, Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican City are also regarded de facto members of the Schengen zone.
Ireland is a member of the EU, but has chosen not to sign the Schengen Agreement.
SCHENGEN AREA ONE OF THE EU’S GREATEST ACHIEVEMENTS
According to the 2018 Eurobarometer on European attitudes of the Schengen Area, 68% of EU nationals consider the border-free zone to be one of the EU’s most significant successes.
The elimination of passport controls and the ease of cross-border travel are seen as two of the most significant benefits.
During the COVID-19 epidemic, certain internal boundaries were reestablished. However, swiftly restoring freedom of movement was an objective that was mainly met.
Increased border digitization and the introduction of ETIAS are among the plans to improve the Schengen Area.