The EU's passport-free travel space, known as the Schengen area, is one of the most tangible achievements of European integration. The Schengen area is one of the pillars of the European project.
The border-free Schengen Area guarantees free movement to more than 400 million EU citizens, along with non-EU nationals living in the EU or visiting the EU as tourists, exchange students or for business purposes (anyone legally present in the EU).
Free movement of persons enables every EU citizen to travel, work and live in an EU country without special formalities. Schengen underpins this freedom by enabling citizens to move around the Schengen Area without being subject to border checks.
Currently, all EU member states except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland and Romania are part of the Schengen area. MEPs have called for Bulgaria and Romania to be fully admitted into Schengen on multiple occasions,
Additionally, also the non-EU States Iceland, Norway, Switzerland and Liechtenstein have joined the Schengen Area.
During the pandemics and in order to slow down the spread of the virus some temporary travel restrictions were necessary to establish in the EU.