18th Oct 2018

Steps underway to enlarge EU's borderless zone in 2007

EU interior ministers are set to hammer out proposals to enlarge the borderless Schengen area to the new member states.

If the plans work out as scheduled, the citizens travelling to and from the ten countries will not have to undergo checks at their borders inside the Union.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join as a group

The ministers are expected to give a go-ahead to the Commission's proposals at their meeting in Luxembourg on Thursday and Friday (2-3 June).

Under the current plans, the eight new countries could join the Schengen zone in late 2007, with a different timetable expected for Malta and Cyprus.

However, all countries have to secure their part of the bloc's external borders, while the EU also needs to complete a new version of its database for sharing information on cross-border criminal activities, such as stolen cars or fugitives.

Speaking to journalists on Wednesday (1 June), a Commission official said the current database - the so-called Schengen Information System - needs to be replaced by a more modern version if it is to be used by more countries.

At the moment, thirteen EU member states (excluding Britain and Ireland), plus Norway and Iceland are part of the Schengen zone.

The new information system should be extendable to 30 member states, and will be centrally managed by the European Commission.

As a whole, it will cost around 40 million euro from the common coffers, with additional costs for individual countries to implement the system.

"It will be a technological and legal challenge, but also a major budgetary challenge for the Union and the member states, if we want to adapt the changes rapidly", said the Commission official.

The database is to be used by police and border guards, as it will store data on terrorist suspects, people who should not be allowed into the Schengen area, those wanted under a pan-European arrest warrant or those wanted for an extradition to another EU state where they have committed a crime.

EU passport sales create 'proud Maltese citizens'

Malta says its 'Golden Visas' scheme attracts families that want to become "proud Maltese citizens". Meanwhile the sales to Russian nationals, and others, have generated over €700m in revenue.

Dutch refuse Polish arrest warrant over judicial fears

A court in Amsterdam has questioned the independence of the Polish judiciary - turning down a Polish request for a European arrest warrant over fears that the suspect would not a get a fair trial in Poland.


Son of couple jailed in Egypt pleads to EU for help

A man is seeking EU support to release his parents from Egyptian prisons, where both have been detained without charge for over 450 days, the mother in solitary confinement. The pressure comes amid EU plans to increase cooperation with Cairo.

News in Brief

  1. Greek foreign minister resigns over Macedonia deal
  2. No Brexit backstop means no approval, says EU parliament
  3. Poland questions supremacy of EU court
  4. Medvedev to meet Juncker and Merkel in Brussels
  5. Italians and Czechs least favourable to remaining in EU
  6. Facebook hack set to be first major test of EU data rules
  7. Barnier open to extending Brexit transition period
  8. Juncker mulls rejection of Italy's 2019 budget


Interpol, China and the EU

China joins a long list of countries - including Russia - accused of abusing Interpol's 'Red Notice' system to harras activists and dissidents.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. International Partnership for Human RightsOpen letter to Emmanuel Macron ahead of Uzbek president's visit
  2. International Partnership for Human RightsRaising key human rights concerns during visit of Turkmenistan's foreign minister
  3. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSState of the Nordic Region presented in Brussels
  4. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe vital bioeconomy. New issue of “Sustainable Growth the Nordic Way” out now
  5. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSThe Nordic gender effect goes international
  6. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSPaula Lehtomaki from Finland elected as the Council's first female Secretary General
  7. NORDIC COUNCIL OF MINISTERSNordic design sets the stage at COP24, running a competition for sustainable chairs.
  8. Counter BalanceIn Kenya, a motorway funded by the European Investment Bank runs over roadside dwellers
  9. ACCACompany Law Package: Making the Best of Digital and Cross Border Mobility,
  10. International Partnership for Human RightsCivil Society Worried About Shortcomings in EU-Kyrgyzstan Human Rights Dialogue
  11. UNESDAThe European Soft Drinks Industry Supports over 1.7 Million Jobs
  12. Mission of China to the EUJointly Building Belt and Road Initiative Leads to a Better Future for All

Latest News

  1. Kaczynski: No question of Polish EU exit
  2. EU summit to accept urgency of climate action – but no measures planned
  3. MEPs demand more from EU on human rights in Asia
  4. EU migration solutions are on the table - let's adopt them
  5. No progress at Brexit summit, talks continue
  6. May faces EU leaders head-to-head as Brexit deal falters
  7. Nordic region's top bank in new Russia funds complaint
  8. Why 'Spitzenkandidat' is probably here to stay

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us