Why Iceland is part of Schengen: A comprehensive guide

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Why is Iceland in Schengen?

Have you ever wondered why Iceland is in the Schengen area? It might seem like a random fact, but the reason behind it goes deep into the history and politics of Europe. In this article, we will explore the story of Iceland’s entry into the Schengen area and what it means for the country and its visitors.

The Schengen area

The Schengen area is a zone in Europe where people can travel freely without having their passports checked at border crossings. This area includes 26 countries, mostly from the European Union but also some non-EU countries like Switzerland and Norway. The idea behind this agreement is to facilitate the movement of people and goods and to strengthen the collaboration between the participating countries.

Iceland’s history with Europe

Iceland is a small island nation in the North Atlantic, with a population of around 360,000 people. It was settled by the Norse people in the 9th century and was later ruled by Norway and Denmark. Iceland became a republic in 1944 and has since then developed a close relationship with Europe.

In the 1990s, the European Union started to develop the idea of the Schengen area, and Iceland was invited to participate. However, there was some skepticism among Icelanders about the potential loss of control over their borders and immigration policies. In 1994, a majority of Icelanders voted against joining the EU in a referendum.

The significance of Schengen for Iceland

Despite not being a member of the European Union, Iceland joined the Schengen area in 2001. This decision has had several implications for the country:

1. Facilitating tourism: Iceland’s main industry is tourism, and being part of the Schengen area has made it easier for visitors to travel to and around the country. They can enter Iceland without getting their passports checked and can move freely within the area.

2. Strengthening collaboration with Europe: By being part of the Schengen area, Iceland has strengthened its ties with Europe and has benefited from the collaborative efforts in areas like security and justice.

3. Loss of control over borders: As part of the Schengen area, Iceland has given up some of its control over its borders and immigration policies. This has raised concerns among some Icelanders about the potential impact on their country’s sovereignty.

The future of Iceland in the Schengen area

Even though Iceland is not a member of the European Union, it has shown a strong commitment to collaborating with Europe. However, the country’s stance on the Schengen area might change in the future. In recent years, there have been discussions about the possibility of reinstating border controls in Iceland, especially given the current immigration crisis in Europe.

In conclusion, Iceland’s entry into the Schengen area is a reflection of its close relationship with Europe and its commitment to collaboration. The decision has had several positive implications for the country, especially in terms of tourism and cooperation. However, it has also raised some concerns about the loss of control over borders and immigration policies. Only time will tell what the future holds for Iceland in the Schengen area, but for now, visitors can enjoy the benefits of free movement within this beautiful island nation.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *