The area comprises 26 European countries which abolished controls at internal borders implemented in 1995. It resembles a single state for international travel purposes with external border controls and common visas.
The Schengen Area currently covers an area mainly in Western and Southern Europe with a population of over 400 million people: Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland. The original Schengen Agreement was signed by Germany, France, Belgium, The Netherlands and Luxembourg. Here is an automatic compilation of all DW content referring to the Schengen area.
German authorities have issued a re-entry ban against Sami A., a suspected former bodyguard for Osama bin Laden. It comes despite a German court ruling that the Tunisian national's deportation from Germany was illegal.
Nations need to protect their citizens, but that does not mean they can ban war criminals from entering their country, a European court has ruled. Instead, authorities need to take some considerations into account.
The newly appointed interior minister has again caused controversy by calling for tighter internal border controls, just as the EU wants them to be eased. The EU was failing to control the external border, he said.