In December 1996, two non-EU states, Norway and Iceland, signed an association agreement with the signatories to the agreement to become part of the Schengen area. Although this agreement never entered into force, both countries became members of the Schengen area after concluding similar agreements with the EU.  The Schengen Convention itself was not available for signature by non-EU states.  In 2009, Switzerland completed its formal accession to the Schengen area with the adoption of an Association Agreement by referendum in 2005.  Disagreements between Member States led to an impasse 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 common border controls. The agreement was signed on the princess marie-astrid boat on the Moselle near the city of Schengen, Luxembourg, where the territories of France, Germany and Luxembourg meet. Three of the signatories, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands, had already abolished common border controls within the framework of the Benelux Economic Union. [Citation required] Although Schengen has officially become part of the EU, the agreement does not apply to all member states. The UK initially refused, preferring to maintain its own national borders.
Ireland has followed suit in order to maintain its common travel area with the United Kingdom. Several Schengen countries – Belgium, Germany, Spain, France, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Austria – signed an agreement known as Schengen III in May 2005. The agreement would create closer cooperation between countries in preventing and combating terrorism and crime. The November 13 attacks in Paris, in which 130 people were killed, triggered an urgent overhaul of the Schengen Agreement. On 14 June 1985, France, Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg and the Netherlands met near the small town of Schengen in Luxembourg to sign the Schengen Agreement. The agreement provided for the abolition of all passport and other controls between participating countries and the establishment of a single external border. However, the provisions of the Agreement were not brought into force until a later date. At the time, the Schengen area was seen as a kind of laboratory testing the creation of a common passport area before extending Schengen to the whole of the EU. .