Because I use the terms EU and EEA on this page, I shall briefly define them here.
The European Union has 28 Member States:
The European Economic Area was created by a treaty that extended EU Single Market legislation to:
- the EU Member States
Schengen: Free Movement of Persons
The Schengen Agreement lays down the conditions for free movement of persons in most of the EU and three more countries. The Schengen zone covers:
The Service Public site has a good explanation of the rules. There is no border control within the zone, but personal identification must be carried. EEA nationals must carry either a national ID card or a passport not expired more than five years ago. As what concerns nationals of other countries, visas issued by Schengen Members are valid for the entire zone. Non-EEA nationals who are legally resident in a Schengen Member State may travel for up to three months throughout the zone without visa, but they must carry a current residence permit issued by a Schengen Member and a current travel document (passport or similar). The family of an EEA national has the right to follow the EEA national upon who they depend throughout the EEA, regardless of their nationality. If a visa is required, it must be issued free of charge.
Schengen is the name of a village in the south east corner of Luxembourg where the borders of Luxembourg, Germany and France meet. The agreement was signed aboard a boat on the Moselle river that is also the natural border between Luxembourg and Germany.