Diplomatic Representation in Brussels (B)

Liechtensteins participation in Schengen/Dublin

In December 2011, Liechtenstein’s association with the European Union’s Schengen system entered into force. Currently, the Schengen area is composed of 22 EU Member States (all except Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Ireland, Romania, and the UK) as well as the four associated States (Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway, Switzerland). Schengen provides for the elimination of fixed checkpoints along the internal borders as well as the common protection of external borders. Important instruments in this regard are a common visa policy (Schengen Visa; Visa Information System), cross-country police cooperation and the common use of security-related data bases (inter alia the Schengen Information System, SIS).

Schengen has greatly facilitated traveling and commuting. It  has thus brought a positive effect of European integration directly to many citizens – especially in Liechtenstein, where many people commute daily across borders. Liechtenstein is also part of the Dublin system, which is composed of all 28 EU Member States as well as the four mentioned associated States. Dublin aims to ensure that asylum applications are processed only in the country of first arrival. It is supported by the fingerprint database Eurodac, which provides the relevant authorities with information as to whether an asylum application has already been lodged in another State. Since the 2015 migration crisis, a comprehensive reform is being negotiated, given that the current system can weigh heavily on certain States (e.g. those along the Mediterranean).  

Similar to the EEA, the Mission in Brussels represents Liechtenstein in meetings of relevant EU organs dealing with the functioning and further development of the Schengen/Dublin acquis. In the context of “decision shaping”, Liechtenstein can submit its own positions and proposals, which usually happens in coordination with the three other associated States. In order to preserve the homogeneity of the Schengen/Dublin system, Liechtenstein, Iceland, Norway and Switzerland have to incorporate all new EU legal acts adopted in this field into their domestic legal order.

In its capacity as Schengen/Dublin Associated State, Liechtenstein is regularly invited to meetings of EU interior ministers and participates in discussions on topics such as migration and anti-terrorism.

 

Links:

Schengen Website of the EU (Commission)

Dublin Website of the EU (Commission)

 

Press releases:

JHA Council of 12 July 2018, Innsbruck

JHA Council of 5 June 2018, Luxemburg


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