In 1952, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland agreed passport-free travel between their countries. They added the rights to reside and work in 1954 and to claim social security the following year. In 1957, they formalised this in a treaty creating the Nordic Passport Union, with a common external immigration frontier. In 1962, an associated treaty was signed for political co-operation via the Nordic Council. Iceland joined in 1966. A customs union, defence union and single market were discussed. The rise of wider European integration eventually caused the project to lose focus. However, the Nordic Passport Union remains a significant and valued connection between its members. They have maintained it through the complications and redundancies arising from their various partial overlaps with the European Union’s single market, customs union and passport-free Schengen zone. I will spare you a description of where the Faroe Islands fit into this, as that really requires a Venn diagram. Common Travel AreaContrast the hopes vested in the Nordic project, at least in its early years, with the shrug that greeted last week’s memorandum between the British and Irish governments to formalise the Common Travel Area (CTA), following two years of joint work. Tánaiste Simon Coveney and… Read full this story
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