It must be considered that there is nothing more difficult to carry out, nor more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to handle, than to initiate a new order of things. Niccolò Machiavelli, The Prince
It was born, with much rejoicing, at a party near a quiet Luxembourg village; it died, alone and unlamented, on a desk in a non-descript Brussels office. On May 1, 1999, the fourteen-year old Schengen legal order finally breathed its last; but nothing quite became its life as the ending of it. For it was immediately reincarnated, with much confusion, into a legal system born in Rome over forty years ago. Long a byword for obsessive secrecy, unaccountability and complexity, the Schengen legal system has with one stroke moved from the “black market” of European integration into the mainstream.