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Europe

Switzerland to Join Schengen, Eliminate Border Controls

Switzerland is set to join the 25-nation passport-free travel zone in Europe starting Dec. 12, after the European Union agreed to allow the non-EU member to lift passport controls at land borders.

Schengen sign

Twenty-four countries are in the Schengen zone

The remaining passport controls at airports are to be scrapped beginning March 29 next year.

The Schengen zone includes 22 EU countries as well as Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, which is set to lift passport controls in Decmeber as well.

Switzerland, which held a referendum on joining the bloc's so-called Schengen zone in 2005, now meets the needed security conditions so it can join the 24-nation borderless area, which is meant to provide hassle-free travel to those moving across the EU.

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