The Schengen convention is an agreement among European countries to abolish border controls between participating countries, harmonize external border controls, and organize cross-border police co-operation. It also implements a common visa area, whereby temporary visitors only need a single visa which is valid for all countries.
The convention was originally signed by Belgium, France, Germany, Luxembourg and The Netherlands in 1985, and has since expanded to include most European Union member states and several other countries.
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Signatories of the Schengen treaty. The countries listed in the top half have implemented the agreement, the countries listed in the bottom half have signed but not yet implemented the agreement.