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The European Commission recently released its 2024 State of Schengen report, highlighting significant developments in the Schengen area over the past year.

One standout finding reveals that over 10 million Schengen visas were issued in 2023, with a notable increase in applications originating from India, Turkey, and North Africa, Wego reports.

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According to the report, this development comes amidst the Schengen area’s continued evolution as the world’s largest free travel zone, facilitating smooth and secure travel for nearly 450 million people.

The Schengen zone attracted over half a billion passengers in 2023, reaching 92% of pre-pandemic 2019 levels. This robust performance significantly bolstered the EU economy, with tourism contributing close to 10% of the EU’s GDP and supporting approximately 22.6 million jobs.

The report also discusses advancements in the upcoming Exit Entry System set to be implemented in autumn 2024 and ETIAS in 2025, alongside updates on border security measures. These systems, along with the new Eurodac database, enhance the Union’s capabilities at protecting external borders, aiding in identifying and preventing secondary movements.