Application of the Schengen acquis to be evaluated in Finland
The European Commission will carry out a Schengen evaluation in Finland in May and June 2023. Evaluation teams coordinated by the Commission will travel across Finland to evaluate how the Finnish authorities apply the Schengen acquis in its different areas.
Evaluations are carried out every seven years and they cover all areas of the Schengen acquis – the external borders, the Schengen Information System (SISII/SIRENE), police cooperation, returns, visa policy and data protection. In addition to carrying out visits to the agencies of various authorities in the Greater Helsinki area, the evaluation teams will also visit the eastern border, Rovaniemi, Tampere, Turku and, for the first time, Åland.
The Commission has, in collaboration with the Finnish liaison officers, selected the sites to be included in the evaluation. In addition, the evaluation teams may carry out unannounced visits to sites that they have chosen themselves. The evaluation teams consist of experts from the Commission and Member States, and they may also include observer members. The evaluators will draw up an evaluation report of any deficiencies identified during the evaluation, after which the Member State in question must take immediate action to remedy the deficiencies. Based on the report, the Commission will issue recommendations to Finland. Finland will draw up an action plan to implement the recommendations, and it must report to the Commission on the implementation of its action plan at regular intervals.
No travel restrictions or border controls between Schengen countries
Currently, the Schengen Area covers 27 European countries without travel restrictions or border controls between them. The area was named after the Schengen Agreement. Finland and the other Nordic countries began applying the Schengen acquis on 25 March 2001.
The countries applying the Schengen acquis control the common external border, which contributes to ensuring the security of the area of free movement (Schengen Area). The lack of border controls between the Member States is also compensated for by means of police cooperation, common visa policy, voluntary and forced returns and various information systems.