The state of play of Schengen governance

The Schengen area of free movement – the largest area of free movement in the world – is considered
one of the greatest achievements of the European integration process. European citizens highly value
the ability to travel within it without being subject to border controls, while the European Commission
considers Schengen one of the main European Union (EU) mechanisms supporting the internal market
and the freedoms and prosperity of European citizens. The Schengen Evaluation and Monitoring
Mechanism (SEMM), which was created to verify that the Schengen acquisis properly implemented, is
important to ensuring the trust among Member States that is fundamental for the removal of internal

This study, commissioned by the European Parliament’s Policy Department for Citizens’ Rights and
Constitutional Affairs at the request of the LIBE Committee, assesses the operation and impact of the
SEMM in its first multiannual programme (2014-19), with the aim of identifying what has worked well
and developing recommendations to further strengthen the SEMM going forward. After providing
background on the Schengen system and major controversies and challenges, the analysis is divided
into three main parts. The first looks at the SEMM itself, in policy and in practice. The second then
focuses on the outcomes of Schengen evaluations and their impact on the implementation of the
Schengen acquis. Lastly, the third part looks more broadly at the functioning of this area. The
report concludes with a synthesis of the key findings in each of these three areas, with
recommendations put forth for strengthening the system.

This is an introduction of the study done by Martin Wagner, Caitlin Katsiaficas, Josephine Liebl, Leila Hadj Abdou and Lenka Dražanová.