The Schengen Agreements The idyllic village on the banks of the Moselle has become a symbol of free movement in the European Union

A small village on the Luxembourg Moselle, located on the Luxembourg-France-Germany tri-border area, gave its name to the Schengen Agreements. For a larger number of Europeans, Schengen has become a symbol of the free movement of people and goods and the suppression of borders in Europe. 

Key dates of the agreements

On 14 June 1985 the five member states of the European Community signed the Schengen Agreement, suppressing border controls of people and goods. The signature took place on the cruise ship M.S. Marie-Astrid while moored at the quay in the charming wine-village of Schengen.

Five years later, on 19 June 1990, the Schengen Convention was signed by the five same member states, once again in the Moselle village. The convention completes the agreements and defines the scope of application and warranties of the implementation of free movement. It did not come into effect until 1995.

© SIP

In 2017, the European Commission announced that the village of Schengen had been selected by an independent committee of experts to bear the European Heritage Label. The label is awarded to sites considered as markers of Europe's shared values, history and cultural heritage and contributors to national and regional diversity. The label is intended to strengthen the sense of belonging of European citizens – particularly young people – to the European Union, and to stimulate intercultural dialogue.

Schengen Agreements Monument

On the esplanade along the Moselle in Schengen, three steel memorials commemorate the signature of the Schengen Agreements in 1985 and 1990. The wine-growing village of Schengen was eventually chosen for the signature ceremony of the Schengen Agreements because it is located on the border between France, Germany and Luxembourg as a member of the Benelux Economic Union (thus the first five signatories to the protocol).

© SIP / Emmanuel Claude

European Museum Schengen

Inaugurated on 13 June 2010, 25 years after the signature of the Schengen Agreements,  the European Museum Schengen  is dedicated to the history and significance of the Schengen Agreements. On a surface of 200m2, a permanent exhibition shows visitors that the abolition of internal border controls was the beginning of the implementation of one of the four fundamental liberties that had been laid down by the Treaty of Rome of 1957.