Europe’s borders in 2018: a visual review

The Brexit saga, the Mediterranean tragedy, the Schengen pantomime, the asylum redistribution farce… These are some of the ‘performances’ that defined European borders in 2018. Below you will find a visual review of the year that has just passed.

 

January

Living in a post-Brexit world…France and UK fight over the ‘new’ Channel border 

 

 

 

 

 

 

February

Living in a post-Brexit world 2: Irish passports quite popular these days …

 

 

 

 

 

 

March

Plus ça change…: Germany Interior minister calls for suspension of Schengen Agreement

 

 

 

 

 

 

April

Oh well, post-Brexit UK ‘blue passports’ will be printed in the EU after all…

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

Give me more…European Commission wants 10,000 border guards

 

 

June

Closed ports: The Aquarius saga in the Mediterranean

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

Breaking taboos: Serbia proposes a territorial swap with Kosovo…

 

 

 

 

 

 

August

…and the EU commission gives the go-ahead to the swap!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

September

Tightening the screw: Germany and Austria back tougher EU external border

 

 

 

 

 

 

October

High alert at the border! Italian police blow up a bag of…coconuts!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

November

EU backs (once again) plans for migrant centres in Africa

 

 

 

 

 

December

Here we go again…EU leaders stuck on asylum reform

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Schengen on social media: some (very preliminary) data

Schengen future

It’s been a rough year for Schengen, Europe’s free travel area. The refugee crisis that hit the continent over the summer of 2015 (but that had been brewing for quite some time…) triggered widespread panic and collective hysteria among Europeans. Draconian measures have been imposed at Europe’s external frontiers, while internal border checks have been reintroduced in an ever growing number of countries… Schengen, often hailed as one of the most iconic symbols of European integration, seems to be on the verge of collapse. In this rather gloomy context, Europeans (be it politicians and the population at large) are becoming more and more pessimistic about the future of continental  border-free travel, if they are not actively conjuring its ultimate demise… That’s the picture in Europe (or at least how I see it), but what about elsewhere? What do people around the world think of Schengen? European borders have been a lot in the news recently, but has this newly found visibility translated into active engagement (or any engagement at all) with what not that long ago was a very obscure topic that only few nerdish aficionados beyond Europe (that includes me) would mention in a conversation (virtual or not)? Your very own Schengenizer is trying to find out! Between August 2015 and July 2016 I have been monitoring social media (i.e. twitter) activity by private individuals (so not media or official sources)  located outside Europe who mentioned Schengen in their tweets.  Here are some very preliminary results, which cover the number of tweets produced over time and a sentiment analysis of their content (NB: a special thank to Syeda Amberin for compiling the data and concocting the Python code!) . More to come, together with the analysis of the data and methodological clarifications (so, for the time being, don’t quote me on this!).

 

Schengen beyond Europe – Twitter presence (August 2015- July 2016)

Tweets Segment

 

Schengen on Twitter – Sentiment analysis (August 2015-July 2016)

Schengen beyond Europe - Sentiment analysis

Schengen on twitter – Overall sentiment outside Europe (August 2015-July 2016)

Sentiments

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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continental_distribution_schengen_21August2015_22June2016

 

 

 

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