Access to Schengen Zone possible before Christmas

Poland may join the Schengen Zone – 30 European countries that have removed systematic border controls – sooner than previously reported. It earlier had been announced that the change would take place on January 1, 2008. It is possible, however, that it will happen before Christmas.

Preparations for Poland’s access to the Schengen Zone are going better than scheduled. “I don’t see any objections,” Wladyslaw Stasiak, the minister of interior and administration, told the newspaper Dziennik Zachodni. “It would be great if people could come for Christmas without border controls,” he added.

On November 8, a special session of ministers of interior of EU countries will make a decision. “In my opinion Poland is prepared very well,” Barbara Kudrycka, a member of the Euro Parliament, told Dziennik Zachodni.

The Schengen Agreement allows for the abolition of systematic border controls between the participating countries. It also includes provisions on a common policy for the temporary entry of persons. The Schengen Visa allows tourists and visitors to move throughout the Schengen Zone without obtaining separate visas for each country they visit.

Poland’s entry into the Schengen Zone has already been postponed once. Access was supposed to begin in the autumn of 2006, but was delayed due to problems with information systems. Now, with preparations proceeding efficiently, December 2007 seems to be a very realizable date for the removal of border barriers.

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