About Schengenalia

This blog is about the good, the bad, the intriguing and the plainly odd that characterize border control in Europe today. In recent times European borders have gove through  dramatic changes that have transformed their nature and functions. One of the most remarkable of these changes has been the creation of a region-wide travel area where border controls among participant states (currently most members of the European Union) have been abolished and new ‘European’ frontiers have been created at its outskirt. This new territorial arrangement is known as ‘Schengen’, from the name of the Luxembourg town where it was first conceived in the mid-1980s. For its supportes, Schengen is a ‘cornestone of European integration’  for it has enhanced freedom of movement across the continent and brought European citizens closer together. For its detractors, it represents either a ‘Wall around Europe’ aimed at keeping (certain)non-Europeans out or a ‘sieve’ where drugs, criminals and illegal migrants can move undetected. Be it as it may, Schengen has become part of the everyday life of European citizens and the millions of people who every year try (legally or not) to visit the Old Continent. It has even become a recurrent subject for both ‘high’ and popular culture, in Europe and beyond.  Schengenalia showcases, at times with a light and irreverent touch, all that has made border control in Europe so fascinating and controversial…Enjoy!

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