Lithuania in the News
20th December 2007
Lithuania Joins Europeís Passport-Free Schengen Zone
Lithuaniaís President Valdas Adamkus (right) and Polandís
President Lech Kaczynski at the Lithuanian-Polish border
opening ceremony. Photo courtesy President of Lithuania website
From midnight December 20 - 21, 2007, Lithuania has been included in the European Unionís Schengen zone, where border and passport controls between member countries are eliminated. This will allow Lithuanians to travel visa free throughout just about all of Europe, further integrating Lithuania into Europe. On Friday morning, December 21, President Adamkus of Lithuania attended formal opening of the borders ceremonies at the Polish border and later in the day at the Latvian
Presidents Valdis Zatlers of Latvia and Valdas Adamkus of
Lithuania at the opening of borders between their two countries.
Photo courtesy President of Lithuania website
border. For a time border controls at airports will continue to be in place, but they will also be eliminated by March 2008.
The opening up of the borders was met with great jubilation in Lithuania and in the other eight countries joining the Schengen zone at this time. The original Schengen agreement was signed in 1985 in Schengen, a small town in Luxembourg. It has now been signed by 30 European countries. Increased freedom of travel within Europe has also imposed on Lithuania the obligation of higher level border controls between Lithuania and neighboring Belarus and Russia, which do not belong to EU.

Further information: 21 & 22/12/07, 21/12/07