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The Schengen Area


sunny 80 °F

What is a Schengen country? "The Schengen Area ( /ˈʃɛŋən/, /ˈʃɛŋɡən/) is an area comprising 26 European states that have officially abolished passport and all other types of border control at their mutual borders. The area mostly functions as a single jurisdiction for international travel purposes, with a common visa policy. The area is named after the Schengen Agreement. States in the Schengen Area have strengthened border controls with non-Schengen countries."

There is also something called the grey passport....only undeclared citizens have this....imagine being a citizen and not belonging to any particular country. Approximatley 1 in 10 Estonians are denied the right to travel through the European Union without the requirement of a visa. Since Estonia is not part of the Schengen visa agreement, Russian citizens living in Estonia do not have this freedom. There are @ 125,000 stateless residents. This "Stateless" situation is a result of the transition from Soviet occupation to independence. Russian-speaking residents were offered the right to remain in Estonia after being relocated there during occupation if they passed a detailed language and cultural exam. Many of the Russians who chose to remain find the test too difficult due to their age and limited skills. Amnesty International has been involved and hopes are that the Estonian authorities will make the citizenship exam process easier.

The Baltics...Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Krakow, Warsaw...the “iron curtain countries” has plenty of mystery to them that needs exploring. Time to go back in time and experience another huge part of history....learn something, try different cuisine and meet some new people.

Quick story...I overheard a phone conversation the other day that my faithful travel companion was having with a friend. "Just letting you know I won't be available for the next two weeks...I'm going to Astoria, Latvia and Landjaeger." I'm thinking ....what? I say to myself, "remember who you're with here..."! I smile at him and whisper.. "E S T O N I A, Latvia and L I T H U A N I A ". He says to me " that's what I said!" I remind him that Astoria is in Queens... Latvia... was actually correct, and Landjaeger is a type of German beef jerky. He says " close enough!"

And so we begin!

Posted by Linda Fluckiger 02:44 Archived in Estonia Tagged the visa international baltics schengen agreement amnesty

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Bonne journée!!!!

by teethetrav

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