Portugal Faces Likely Exclusion From Schengen

Travelers planning a trip to Portugal should pay close attention to recent developments. The European Union (EU) is urging Portugal to implement a new border control system, and failure to comply by July 2024 could lead to its suspension from the Schengen Area.

Schengen Area

The Schengen Area is a zone of 29 European countries with no internal border controls, allowing passport-free travel between member states. Being part of Schengen significantly benefits Portugal’s tourism industry, which could be severely impacted by a suspension.

Portugal at Risk

The EU has mandated a new border control system for all member states. Portugal has not yet implemented this system due to procurement delays. The previous administration failed to start the tender process for the necessary equipment despite a €25 million budget allocation.

Meet the Deadline

The current government is expediting the process but faces challenges, including concerns over transparency with direct contracts and bureaucratic approvals from the Accounts Court.

Impact on Travelers

If Portugal is suspended from the Schengen Area, travelers will face stricter border controls, longer wait times, and additional checks. This could disrupt travel plans and require visas and more rigorous border procedures.

Planning a Trip

Travelers should closely monitor the situation. While a suspension is not certain, staying informed is crucial. Check updates from the Portuguese embassy or consulate in your home country.

Portugal’s ability to meet the EU deadline will significantly affect its economy, security, and international standing. Travelers should be prepared for potential delays and disruptions at the border if a suspension occurs.

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