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Centre Party Will Take Norway out of Schengen

The draft new party program shows that Sp will look at alternatives to the current Schengen cooperation. According to Norwegian daily Nationen, many politicians in the party want to get Norway out of the deal. The reasoning behind this argument is that cross-border crime has become a problem in Norway day by day. Also Centre Youth believes that Norway must come out of Schengen aggreement. 

-Norway will be out of Schengen and the scheme should be reconsidered. It’s in the program proposal, says Sandra Borch, head of the youth organization of the party. 

Previously, SP MP Jenny Klinge had said the Schengen Agreement makes it easier for criminals to enter the country. She had suggested that the government re-take control of the country’s borders. Klinge also had said the problem was particularly serious because Bulgaria and Romania could enter the Schengen area in the autumn.

About the Schengen Cooperation

The Schengen area and cooperation are founded on the Schengen Agreement of 1985. The Schengen area represents a territory where the free movement of persons is guaranteed. The signatory states to the agreement have abolished all internal borders in lieu of a single external border. Here common rules and procedures are applied with regard to visas for short stays, asylum requests and border controls. Simultaneously, to guarantee security within the Schengen area, cooperation and coordination between police services and judicial authorities have been stepped up. Schengen cooperation has been incorporated into the European Union (EU) legal framework by the Treaty of Amsterdam of 1997. However, all countries cooperating in Schengen are not parties to the Schengen area. This is either because they do not wish to eliminate border controls or because they do not yet fulfil the required conditions for the application of the Schengen acquis.

During the 1980s, a debate began over the meaning of free movement of persons. Some Member States felt the concept should apply to European Union (EU) citizens only, which would involve keeping internal border checks in order to distinguish between citizens of the EU and non-EU nationals. Others argued in favour of free movement for everyone, which would mean an end to internal border checks altogether. Since Member States could not reach agreement, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands decided in 1985 to create a territory without internal borders. This became known as the “Schengen area”, after the town in Luxembourg where the first agreements were signed. Following the signing of the Treaty of Amsterdam, this intergovernmental cooperation was incorporated into the EU framework on 1 May 1999.

The first agreement between the five original group members was signed on 14 June 1985. A further convention was drafted and signed on 19 June 1990. When it took effect in 1995, it abolished checks at the internal borders of the signatory states and created a single external border where immigration checks for the Schengen area are carried out in accordance with identical procedures. Common rules regarding visas, right of asylum and checks at external borders were adopted to allow the free movement of persons within the signatory states without disrupting law and order.

The Schengen area gradually expanded to include nearly every Member State. Italy signed the agreements on 27 November 1990, Spain and Portugal joined on 25 June 1991, Greece followed on 6 November 1992, then Austria on 28 April 1995 and Denmark, Finland and Sweden on 19 December 1996. The Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Hungary, Malta, Poland, Slovenia and Slovakia joined on 21 December 2007 and the associated country Switzerland on 12 December 2008. Bulgaria, Cyprus and Romania are not yet fully-fledged members of the Schengen area; border controls between them and the Schengen area are maintained until the EU Council decides that the conditions for abolishing internal border controls have been met. 

In addition to EU member states and four non-EU member states – Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland – participate in the Schengen Area while three European microstates – Monaco, San Marino, and the Vatican – can be considered as de facto part of the Schengen Area as they do not have border controls with the Schengen countries which surround them. The area currently covers a population of over 400 million people and an area of 4,312,099 square kilometres (1,664,911 sq mi).

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