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Schengen welcomes Switzerland

brussels bureau

Schengen welcomes Switzerland


Long queues for European travellers at border controls in Switzerland will soon be a thing of the past.

EU interior ministers have agreed to allow Switzerland to sign up to the bloc’s passport-free travel zone, the Schengen Area, from next month.

The Swiss Justice Minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, said: “We’re delighted, having worked very hard on this over the past year. We were successful in our evaluations and met all the criteria. And we’re very happy that the political go ahead is now there, allowing us to participate from December the 12th. It’s very important for us.”

Swiss residents voted in favour of the move in a referendum in 2005.

Officials say border checks at airports for Schengen- zone travellers will be scrapped next March.

However, trucks and cars will still be subject to regular checks by customs officers.

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brussels bureau