As it stands, jetting through Europe doesn't even require a passport check when moving between certain countries. But it looks like that could change. Travel + Leisure reports that the European Commission is reviewing rules regarding travel inside the Schengen Area, which covers 26 different European countries.
"The Schengen Border Code rules for reintroducing internal border controls were devised in a different time, with different challenges," Frans Timmermans, the vice president of the E.C., said in a statement. "The exceptional circumstances that we see now, such as the increased terrorist threat, have led us to propose a Schengen Border Code more fit for purpose in this new day and age."
According to T+L, the proposed changes would affect the over 400 million people who now enjoy the perk of traveling freely throughout the Schengen Area, which is the largest free travel area on the globe. The European Commission is looking at reinstating rules surrounding passport checks and border control. Additionally, the proposal allows states to introduce stricter regulation in the coming years, especially among countries at the borders of the Schengen Area. The E.C. is looking to add a few new members to the group, as well, including Bulgaria, Romania, and Croatia, which need to meet certain guidelines before joining Schengen.
Currently, the Schengen Area spans much of the E.U. T+L lists "Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Italy, Latvia, Liechtenstein, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, and Switzerland" as the current member states.
The E.C.'s statement explains that the organization will give the countries involved a trial period of six months to a year to examine border security and offer any alternative measures. The new proposal also adds special procedures in the case of emergencies and threats, including heightened security measures throughout the Schengen Area.
Travelers still have some time to travel through the area without pulling out a passport, but free movement throughout is set to become a thing of the past.
Read These Stories Next: