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The Inland Island Fortress
December 12, 2008 6:57 AM   Subscribe

"Schengen means" there will be "no systematic control of the borders anymore". Switzerland officially cracks open its borders to Europe.

While many will surely be happy to have easier access to ricola, others worry about the consequences of the Schengen enlargement.
posted by mannequito (40 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
hooray, does it mean now with my multiple entry schengen i can just go directly to switzerland or will it need additional paperwork to apply?
posted by infini at 7:15 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


easier access to ricola

Don't forget the guns!
posted by Sys Rq at 7:20 AM on December 12, 2008


"multiple entry schengen" needs an NSFW tag.
posted by rokusan at 7:22 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Crap, man. I wanted to get a Swiss stempel on my reisepass before they opened the borders.

I guess there's always Liechtenstein.
posted by dunkadunc at 7:24 AM on December 12, 2008


The fall of the... yodeling curtain?
posted by b1tr0t at 7:27 AM on December 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


fall of the chocolate curtain, b1tr0t.
posted by lester at 7:28 AM on December 12, 2008


Say goodbye, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu to long lines at the border!
posted by DU at 7:29 AM on December 12, 2008


"multiple entry schengen" needs an NSFW tag.

and here I was expecting a barrage of jokes over the 'consequences of schengen enlarement'
posted by mannequito at 7:33 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Man, this is going to fuck up my Diplomacy game.
posted by cortex at 7:52 AM on December 12, 2008 [10 favorites]


Somewhere, Steve McQueen is crying on his motorcycle.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 8:03 AM on December 12, 2008 [2 favorites]


@infini: as switzerland is now part of the schengen treaty your visa will allow you to enter the country with no additional formalities.
posted by oxidizer at 8:09 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


This should please my sister; she lives in France but travels to work at CERN across the swiss border every day.
posted by ArkhanJG at 8:23 AM on December 12, 2008


Last from what I read here there will be less passport controls, but there will still be border controls. Whatever that may mean. Also the Z├╝rich airport will only be able to separate Schengen and non-Schengen passengers from the middle of next year. Until then it might actually take longer through passport control since all passengers will be checked against the central Schengen database.
posted by sebas at 8:44 AM on December 12, 2008


Last from what I read here there will be less passport controls, but there will still be border controls. Whatever that may mean.

Schenanigens.
posted by pracowity at 8:56 AM on December 12, 2008 [6 favorites]


laughs at all the comments

btw I blogged the sentence "am I overthinking a plate of beans" today... do I need MeFi border controls?
posted by infini at 9:09 AM on December 12, 2008


thank you oxidizer


and yes, that bit about schengen enlargement worries me too ;p
posted by infini at 9:10 AM on December 12, 2008


The only formality I ever ran into was having to wave at the border guard as I drove from France to Switzerland, and I did that just about every day for around a year.
posted by blue_beetle at 9:12 AM on December 12, 2008


you do carry an honest to god third world passport with all the trimmings?
posted by infini at 9:13 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]


Victory!!! This will be great for me. Thanks for the post ;)
posted by johannahdeschanel at 9:15 AM on December 12, 2008


This is small potatoes. The real question is when the UK and Ireland will join.
posted by grouse at 9:39 AM on December 12, 2008


There are still border controls for customs purposes, as I understand it, because while Switzerland's Schengen now, it's not EU. It's the reverse of the situation you have between England and the rest of the continent, which is EU (no customs checks) but not Schengen (so, passport checks).
posted by Vetinari at 9:49 AM on December 12, 2008


Does this mean they'll remove the explosives from bridges and tunnels into Switzerland?
posted by smrtsch at 9:54 AM on December 12, 2008


Are all the Swiss going to escape now?
posted by dov3 at 11:05 AM on December 12, 2008


Didn't something like us happen with Germany and Poland a while back? Or ..the reserve of it. I'm not sure.



Fun fact! The Swiss tradition of neutrally and democracy began during the Hundred Years War, where Swiss lands where so inaccessible and they had a reputation as the biggest, baddest mutherfrackers in Europe, so they got spared the endless, seasonal destruction of every other nation. The Pope still has "Swiss Guards" due to their lasting reputation of being merciless.

Switzerland! Not just chocolate and Nazi gold!
posted by The Whelk at 11:12 AM on December 12, 2008 [3 favorites]


Yet now it's harder than ever to travel between the US and Canada. WTF?
posted by crapmatic at 11:24 AM on December 12, 2008 [1 favorite]



Last from what I read here there will be less passport controls, but there will still be border controls. Whatever that may mean.


I was there last month, and from what I could see then it meant pretty much "come and go as you please". We were staying about 150m across the border from Switzerland in France, so we were crossing the border 2 - 4 times/day, and at that crossing never once did we even see a border guard, much less get stopped. The "old" border station was in fact completely shut down, and the "new" one further up the road had its lights on usually, but nobody was home. The only time we were actually stopped at a checkpoint was in south Geneva going into France near Annecy, and even then it was drive up, reach into your pocket for your passport, and then be waved through before you even get your passports out.

I must say, it was quite an incredible thing to someone used to crossing the US/Canadian border. And now it's going to get easier?
posted by barc0001 at 11:41 AM on December 12, 2008


There are still border controls for customs purposes, as I understand it

That's right. And as it says in the article, in fact right after the "no systematic control of the borders anymore" quote from the chief of the Swiss border police, it says: "However, she admitted, most systematic checks have already been removed. People will feel the difference, but only slightly. Border checks will remain in place for custom issues."

That said, I encourage the reading of the "consequences" link. It's very well-written and points to the biggest fundamental problem with the EU: it doesn't achieve the international equality it aims for. A lot of the old grudges and hard feelings will take time to move past, sure, but a lot of this is a question of policy. Anyways, it's a good article.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:51 AM on December 12, 2008


I was last there in 2005, and like barc0001, my (Australian) passport was never checked when I crossed the border from Germany. The border guard was more concerned with getting me to pay for a highway toll sticker. In practice, I don't think this change will make much difference to border crossers.
posted by Ben Light at 12:16 PM on December 12, 2008


You know who else liked easily-crossable European borders?
posted by rocket88 at 12:52 PM on December 12, 2008


I like Cheese Curtain. It was always full of holes.
posted by DenOfSizer at 12:52 PM on December 12, 2008


Was in a Swiss border-town in 2002. I was specifically told then that I might be denied entry into Germany, and that re-entry into Switzerland might be tricky because I had a Swiss-only single-entry visa. This, though, was unofficial speculation by fellow beer-guzzlers at a certain bar in the remote, idyllic town of Appenzell.

I still like the Swiss stamp on my passport over the Schengen one; that one's ugly.
posted by the cydonian at 7:14 AM on December 13, 2008


yas but the schengen one allows one to float around amsterdam before coming back to pass through the non schengen section of the airport. this time I thought i left something on the plane so got to see the whole set up of how they change the doors and levels around for an aircraft from schengen flight that then goes out of schengen territory. very cool and very terrifying all at the same time
posted by infini at 8:35 AM on December 13, 2008


a note on pretty stamps in passport, you'd think japan's would be cute but hong kong's has flowers on it ;p
posted by infini at 8:36 AM on December 13, 2008


Nothing to declare! *throws cello over the crossbar*

I'm not understanding the "consequences" article. So the easing of internal controls is resulting in harsher external controls?
posted by Eideteker at 11:51 AM on December 13, 2008 [1 favorite]


This is bad news for American Residents. Prior to this, Suisse was the only Western country besides Canada that allowed entry for Green Card holders regardless of nationality. Particularly convenient if a European visa has expired/will expire and you need renewal. Or, you know, if you just want to go to Switzerland.

The Schengen-Suisse land borders were never really checked in any case (unless you walked or had non-European plates).
posted by whiterussian at 12:22 PM on December 13, 2008


Prior to this, Suisse was the only Western country besides Canada that allowed entry for Green Card holders regardless of nationality.

this has not been true in late 2007 and early 2008, I can attest to that
posted by infini at 1:11 PM on December 13, 2008


this has not been true in late 2007 and early 2008, I can attest to that

How so? I know a few people who entered with only a green card this summer. This is still possible till December 15th, I think.
posted by whiterussian at 1:53 PM on December 13, 2008


with only a green card

what passport did they hold? and where they already in Europe on a longer term visa or a visitor visa or the "no visa required" type thing?

I have an Indian passport to accompany my green card
posted by infini at 1:54 PM on December 13, 2008


i think its "regardless of nationality" as long as you don't look like certain types of folks currently running around etc etc etc ;p
posted by infini at 1:55 PM on December 13, 2008


I think some people are missing the point entirely regarding the Swiss' accession to Schengen.
It's not so much about the act of crossing the border, as it is about the legality of your presence on Swiss territory. For all you privileged holders of "good" passports this might not be of much interest, as you wouldn't have needed a visa for Switzerland anyway. For people with "not so good" passports it makes a big difference, however, as they now can legally enter the country on just one, namely Schengen, visa.

As Schengen requires member states to secure the treaty territory against illegal incursions all the same, we can look forward to random passport/visa checks on highways, train stations and the like... not sure i like that part.
posted by oxidizer at 4:00 AM on December 14, 2008


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