Borders with EU could soon disappear

Switzerland will likely join Europe's border-free Schengen zone from December 12, experts meeting in Brussels said on Friday.

This content was published on October 31, 2008 minutes

A government representative attending Friday's talks said he did not see anything else standing in the way of Swiss membership.

"Technically, we're ready and there is no reason to believe there will be any political obstacles to overcome," said Luzius Mader of the Swiss justice ministry.

A European Union advisory council will take a final decision at the end of November. Approval must be unanimous for Switzerland to be welcomed into the group of Schengen countries.

The Schengen accord abolishes systematic controls on individuals within its zone of application and increases cooperation in the fight against cross-border crime.

While terrestrial borders are dismantled on December 12, air transport will still be subject to passport controls until the new flight timetables are introduced at the end of March next year.

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