The Schengen Area is the area composed of 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and any other type of border control at their mutual borders. The area mostly functions as a single country for international travel purposes with a common visa policy. The area is named after the Schengen Agreement. States in the Schengen Area have eliminated border controls with the other Schengen members and strengthened border controls with non-Schengen countries. Twenty-two of the twenty-eight European Union member states participate in the Schengen Area. Of the six EU members that are not part of the Schengen Area, four – Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, and Romania – are legally obliged and wish to join the area, while the other two – the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom – maintain opt-outs. The four European Free Trade Association member states, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland, are not members of the EU, but have signed agreements on association with the Schengen Agreement. Three European microstates – Monaco, San Marino, and Vatican City – can be considered de facto participants.

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