Tag Archives: Schengen agreement

Europe Rethinks the Schengen Agreement

Mr. George Friedman
is the CEO and Chief Intelligence Officer of  Statfor, a private intelligence company located in Austin, Texas.


  • Forecast
    • Rising immigration and fragile economic recovery in Europe will reduce political support for the Schengen Agreement, which eliminates border controls among member states.
    • The Schengen Agreement will likely be reformed to make room for countries to tighten their border controls more frequently.
    • Friction between Schengen members and other countries will remain, as will tension within the bloc itself.


When France, West Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg signed the Schengen Agreement in 1985, they envisioned a system in which people and goods could move from one country to another without barriers. This vision was largely realized: Since its implementation in 1995, the Schengen Agreement eliminated border controls between its signatories and created a common visa policy for 26 countries.

The treaty was a key step in the creation of a federal Europe. By eliminating border controls, member states gave up a basic element of national sovereignty. The agreement also required a significant degree of trust among its signatories, because it put the responsibility for checking foreigners’ identities and baggage on the country of first entry into the Schengen area. Once people have entered a Schengen country, they can move freely across most of Europe without facing any additional controls.

The Schengen Agreement was implemented in the 1990s, when the end of the Cold War and the prospect of permanent economic prosperity led EU members to give up national sovereignty in many sensitive areas. The creation of the eurozone is probably the most representative agreement of the period. But several things have changed in Europe since then, and member states are beginning to question many of the decisions that were made during the preceding years of optimism.

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Trichet and the others

Alexis Papachelas is a guest editorial writer to The Business Thinker. He is currently the Executive Editor of the long standing and highly respected daily Greek newspaper “Kathimerini”.


The deficit in political leadership that we witness on a daily basis is truly frightening and, unfortunately, not limited to Greece. We see it all over the world, and especially in Europe. For example, the cacophony over the past few weeks in regard to the very sensitive question of Greece restructuring its debt illustrates that something is awry.

Prime ministers, ministers and central bankers are expressing conflicting opinions without once inspiring the belief that somewhere, in some dark room, a real plan, a systematic and long-term plan, is being drawn up. This leadership vacuum in the European Union heightens uncertainty over where the EU, the eurozone, the Schengen Agreement, this entire European construct, built with so much effort, is heading.

Continue reading Trichet and the others