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Poland’s joining in Schengen zone a success: Senate

Poland will join the European Union’s border-free zone next year, but the Senate worries that the move could hamper contact with Poles living in the east, the PAP news agency reported Tuesday.

Despite this concern, Senate Speaker Bogdan Borusewicz described the entry move as “our joint success” and the Senate did not propose any amendments to the law on the Schengen Information System and the Visa Information System. In line with the European Union’s plan, controls on Poland’s borders with Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Germany may be lifted in January 2008 and those on airport controls in March 2008. After joining the Schengen group, Poland will issue European visas at a price compulsory for Schengen countries which has been proposed to be set at €60 ($81). At present, Schengen visas for citizens of Russia, Belarus and Ukraine cost €35 ($47)

Poland is scheduled to join the Schengen zone on Jan. 1, 2008. Thirteen EU countries plus Iceland and Norway participate in the scheme, and Switzerland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta, the Czech Republic and Poland will enter the system soon. (