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Free movement of persons, asylum and immigration

Justice, freedom and security

The free movement of persons is a fundamental right guaranteed to European Union (EU) citizens by the Treaties. It is realised through the area of freedom, security and justice without internal borders. Lifting internal borders requires strengthened management of the Union’s external borders as well as regulated entry and residence of non-EU nationals, including through a common asylum and immigration policy.
The concept of free movement of persons came about with the signing of the Schengen Agreement in 1985 and the subsequent Schengen Convention in 1990, which initiated the abolition of border controls between participating countries. Being part of the EU legal and institutional framework, Schengen cooperation has gradually been extended to include most EU Member States as well as some non-EU countries.

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