The Schengen Agreement, signed in 1985, is a treaty that aims to abolish border controls between the participating countries in the European Union. Austria is one of the countries that signed the agreement and has been a member of the Schengen Area since 1997. In this article, we`ll take a closer look at the Schengen Agreement and how it affects Austria.
The Schengen Agreement was named after the small town of Schengen in Luxembourg, where it was signed. The original signatories were five European Union countries: Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands. Since then, more countries have joined the agreement, and today, there are 26 participating countries.
The Schengen Area allows for the free movement of people within the participating countries. Citizens of these countries can travel from one country to another without needing a visa or passport. They can also live and work in any of the participating countries without restrictions.
For Austria, the Schengen Agreement has had a significant impact on the country`s economy and tourism industry. As a member of the Schengen Area, Austria has seen an increase in the number of tourists visiting the country. According to the Austrian National Tourist Office, in 2019, Austria welcomed more than 42 million visitors, with around 80% of them coming from other European Union countries.
Another benefit of the Schengen Agreement for Austria is the ease of trade and commerce between participating countries. With no border controls or customs checks, goods can move freely between these countries, making it easier and more cost-effective for businesses to operate.
However, the Schengen Agreement has also been a source of controversy in Austria. In recent years, the country has seen an influx of refugees and migrants, which has led to concerns about security and border control. Some politicians and citizens have called for stricter controls and even the suspension of the Schengen Agreement.
Despite these concerns, the Schengen Agreement remains an important part of Austria`s relationship with the European Union and its neighbors. The agreement allows for the free movement of people and goods and has played a vital role in the country`s economic growth and development. As a member of the Schengen Area, Austria will continue to benefit from the agreement while working to address any concerns that arise.
In conclusion, the Schengen Agreement has been a significant part of Austria`s relationship with the European Union and its neighbors. It has opened up opportunities for tourism and commerce while also posing challenges in terms of security and border control. As a professional, it`s important to highlight the key points of the article to make it palatable for readers interested in the topic.