Now that the Schengen Agreement is part of the Community acquis, it has lost to the EU Member States the status of a treaty which could only be amended in accordance with its terms. Instead, changes are made in accordance with the EU`s legislative procedure under the EU treaties.  Ratification by the former signatory states is not necessary to amend or repeal all or part of the previous Schengen acquis.  Acts setting out the conditions for accession to the Schengen area are now adopted by a majority of the EU`s legislative bodies. The new EU Member States do not sign the Schengen Agreement as such, but are required to implement the Schengen rules within the framework of existing EU legislation, which any new entrant must accept. [Citation required] Several Schengen countries – Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria – signed an agreement with the “Schengen III” in May 2005. The agreement would establish closer cooperation between countries in the prevention and fight against terrorism and crime. Although Schengen was officially part of the EU, the agreement did not apply to all Member States. At first, the United Kingdom rejected its own national borders, preferring to keep its own national borders. Ireland has followed this example in order to preserve its common territory with the United Kingdom. The result of these efforts – the series of agreements known as Schengen – has had an impact on border control and visa policy in the European Union (EU) Member States. Schengen opened the borders between the participating countries, but demanded changes to allow cooperation on common controls at external borders.
The Schengen Agreement includes two separate agreements that were ratified in 1985 and 1990 respectively. Between them, they abolished border controls and greatly facilitated transit through Europe. The two individual agreements indicated that the Schengen agreement paved the way for the Schengen visa to enter into force. Although this is not part of the original provisions of the agreement, the top 15 countries need only a visa for all. The Schengen visa may allow non-EU members to travel freely to the countries participating in the programme. Differences of opinion between Member States led to a deadlock in the abolition of border controls within the Community, but in 1985 five of the ten Member States at the time – Belgium, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and West Germany – signed an agreement on the phasing out of border controls. The agreement was signed on the princess Marie-Astrid boat in Moselle, near the city of Schengen, where the territories of France, Germany and Luxembourg meet.