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15.11.2007

At its plenary session on 15 November 2007, the European Parliament supported the enlargement of the Schengen area by 9 new EU Member States including the Czech Republic. The position of the Parliament on abolition of checks at the internal borders, which states a full support for the historically largest Schengen enlargement, was supported by 468 members of the Parliament, 21 members voted against.

The positive vote of the European Parliament has removed the last obstacle on the road towards the final Council Decision due to be taken on 6-7 December.

The need for a compulsory consultation of the European Parliament on the Schengen enlargement arises from the Act on Accession of the Czech Republic into the EU and its Article 3(2) according to which internal border checks may be abolished "only after verification in accordance with the applicable Schengen evaluation procedures that the necessary conditions for the application of all parts of the acquis concerned have been met in that new Member State and after consulting the European Parliament."

The EU Council of ministers of the interior approved on 8 November the readiness of 9 states for the abolition of border checks on 21 December 2007 at the internal land and sea borders and on 30 March 2008 at the international airports on intra-Schengen flights.