The free circulation zone of the European Union will enlarge, including nine new states, starting on November 21, 2007, sources near the Portuguese presidency of the EU declared, quoted by Reuters.

Starting this year, citizens in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, Malta, Slovakia, Poland and Slovenia will be able to travel without needing passports in the 15 states of the Schengen space, the EU presidency spokesman declared.

All nine countries were included in the European Union in 2004. The Schengen space includes 13 EU states (Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Switzerland, France, Germany, Greece, Finland, Italy, Luxembourg, Holland, Portugal, Spain, Sweden), along with Norway and Iceland.

UK and Ireland refused to participate in the project. Cyprus, which also joined the EU in 2004, demanded a postponement of one year.

Romania and Bulgaria, which became part of the EU this year, still have a lot to accomplish to meet the EU security criteria, Reuters comments.