For the first time in history, it will now be possible to travel from Estonia to Portugal without worrying about border checks. Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Slovenia and Malta have now joined the border control-free group known as the Schengan Agreement. A traveler can leave Estonia and go all the way to Portugal without encountering a single border official. When the original Schengan program began in the 19080 between Germany, France, and the Benelux nations, there was widespread fear it would result in an increase in crime. No such occurrence ever happened. The greatest immediate concern is revolves around illegal immigrants from eastern Europe who are expected to head for wealthier areas of the European Union in the west.
The European Union continually moves in the direction of creating a vast free trade and travel area in which people and goods can move without being hampered by borders or restrictions. In a sense, Europe is becoming more like the United States which has a three thousand mile free trade and travel area. Crime in America has no connection with the concept of free travel. Most probably in the coming years the presence of this free trade area will encourage greater cooperation among nations which in the long run makes crime more difficult.