Nine new states have joined the European border-free zone. There are now 24 nations in the Schengen agreement. Countries such as Ukraine complain that they now have to pay 35 Euros and negotiate a bureaucratic net before getting a visa whereas these were formerly free and easy to obtain. However, our leaders seem happy and EU 's President Barrosso was at the celebrations. The Schengen system rests on a database rather unfortunately called the SIS (Schengen Information System), this is in addition to EURODAC,VIS, API, APP, SIRENE and to come, PNR like the American model about which there have been protestations from politicians. There has been so much angst expressed about ID cards recently in the UK you would have thought that there would have been some mention of these EU databases.
The LibDems and the Conservatives are against ID cards but don't mention how these objections are reconciled with the need for EU wide data processing of most areas of our lives. How can the EU have a harmonised system of nearly everything if the member countries cannot share information about individuals and vehicles, when there is free movement of people and goods? The system to facilitate this is called IDABC, this proposes eID interoperability for Pan-European e Government Services(PEGS) by 2010.