Monday, 27 December 2010

Liechtenstein heading for Schengen area

We still do not know if the parliamentary question about EU trade agreements with Liechtenstein is nonsense, but we hope that reasons will be forthcoming if it makes sense: What does the Earl of Dartmouth know about the EU? (26 December 2010).

In this post we look at available information about the entry of Liechtenstein into the Schengen travel area with common external borders.


GAC conclusions

We return to the conclusions from the General Affairs Council (GAC) of the European Union:

Council conclusions on EU relations with EFTA countries; 3060th GENERAL AFFAIRS Council meeting Brussels, 14 December 2010

This is what the GAC had to say about the entry of Liechtenstein into the Schengen area:

20. Preparations for the association of Liechtenstein to the Schengen acquis are well advanced on both sides. The Council is looking forward to a rapid entry of Liechtenstein into the Schengen area.

Nice as such general remarks are, the public would be better served if the Council would be considerate enough to publish a memo on where matters stand and which issues remain open.


Liechtenstein protocol

The Treaties Office Database of the European Commission offers many useful features if you are looking for international agreements. 'By country' we find 67 treaties involving the European Union and Liechtenstein.

Among them we find the Liechtenstein protocol, officially:

Protocol between the European Union, the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein on the accession of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the Agreement between the European Union, the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on the Swiss Confederation's association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis (signed 28 February 2008, but not yet in force)

There is a summary of the contents of the Liechtenstein Schengen protocol, a link to the summary of the Schengen agreement of Switzerland and a link to the text of the Liechtenstein protocol.

Alternatively, you could have used word search 'Schengen' to locate two agreements with Iceland and Norway (1999), the agreement with Switzerland (2004) and the Liechtenstein protocol (2008).


Liechtenstein Schengen procedure

The Liechtenstein accession procedure to Switzerland's Schengen agreement can be followed under NLE/2006/0251 on the Legislative Observatory Oeil of the European Parliament.

After the entry into force of the Lisbon Treaty, a new consultation was launched.

The draft report by the Committee on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs is heading for the plenary on 14 February 2011. According to Oeil, the draft report is dated 1 December, but the document behind the link is actually dated 18 November 2010:

Draft recommendation on the draft Council Decisions on the conclusion on behalf of the European Union of the Protocol between the European Union, the European Community, the Swiss Confederation and the Principality of Liechtenstein on the accession of the Principality of Liechtenstein to the Agreement between the European Union, the European Community and the Swiss Confederation on the Swiss Confederation's association with the implementation, application and development of the Schengen acquis (06077/2010– C7-0141/2010 – 2006/0251(NLE))


Media

Finding useful information on the Council website or the government of Liechtenstein was not very rewarding, but local media are sometimes more informative than official sources:

Liechtensteiner Vaterland: Liechtenstein wartet auf grünes Licht (7 November 2010)



Ralf Grahn



P.S. Sauvons l'Europe is a pro-European 'progressive' voice for citizens, well worth reading and following.