An AOPA Netherlands proposal to abolish the obligation to submit a VFR flight plan for flights within the Schengen area HAS BEEN APPROVED. The relevant regulations will be amended.

You can, of course, decide to submit a flight plan anyway and there may be good reasons for doing so. Where no flight plan is required, it remains a recommendation to submit a flight plan if one wishes to use flight intelligence or alerting services to facilitate a SAR operation.

No flight plan is required for VFR flights to or from a State within the Schengen area unless:

a. the relevant state has a flight plan requirement for VFR flights;

b. the flight crosses the airspace of a state outside the Schengen area;

or c. submission of a flight plan is required by paragraph SERA.4001, part b, subparts 1, 3, 4 and 6, of Regulation (EU) No. 923/2012.

SERA.4001 Submission of a flight plan
(b) A flight plan shall be submitted prior to operating:
(1) any flight or portion thereof to be provided with air traffic control service;
EN L 281/18 Official Journal of the European Union 13.10.2012
(3) any flight within or into areas, or along routes designated by the competent authority, to facilitate the provision of
flight information, alerting and search and rescue services;
(4) any flight within or into areas or along routes designated by the competent authority, to facilitate coordination with appropriate military units or with air traffic services units in adjacent States in order to avoid the possible
need for interception for the purpose of identification;
(6) any flight planned to operate at night, if leaving the vicinity of an aerodrome.

Schengen countries are Estonia, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Hungary, Malta, the Netherlands, Austria, Poland, Portugal, Slovenia, Slovakia, Finland and Sweden, as well as the Balearic Islands, the Canary Islands, Madeira and the Azores.