Europe’s borders in 2020: a visual review

The end of an extraordinary year, affecting every corner of the world, including European borders! But it has not been just about Covid. Brexit and the Mediterranean once again make it into the list, among other border-related events across the Old Continent. Below you will find a visual review of 12 months to remember…

January

The journeys through Europe’s southern border continue…

Photo: Migrants on an overcrowded wooden boat in the Mediterranean Sea on January 10, 2020 | Photo: Picture-alliance/AP Photo/Santi Palacios

February

Violence at Europe South-Eastern border

Photo: Signs of violence on an asylum seeker in northern Turkey at the Greek border.  Belal Khaled

March

Covid hits, and Europe’s internal borders shut down (the temporary barriers series)

A temporary border barrier between Belgium and the Netherlands. Nico Vereecken / Photonews via Getty

Another temporary border barrier between Belgium and the Netherlands. Robin Utrecht/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty

A temporary border barrier in Poland. Stefan Sauer/picture alliance via Getty

Check point at a Czech Republic border. Sebastian Kahnert/picture alliance via Getty

A temporary border check between Poland and Germany. ODD ANDERSEN/AFP via Getty

A makeshift border between Germany and the Czech Republic. Hendrik Schmidt/picture alliance via Getty

A temporary border barrier between Denmark and Germany. Frank Molter/picture alliance via Getty

The Vatican City-Italy border. REMO CASILLI/Reuters

(Sources for Temporary barriers series: Thomas Pallini, “Photos show the emergency makeshift borders European countries have erected in an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19”, Business Insider, 4 April 2020. https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-european-borders-closed-in-response-to-covid-19-2020-4)

April

‘Temporary’ shut down of Europe’s borders extended…

A makeshift border between Germany and Switzerland. ARND WIEGMANN/Reuters

May

Europe reopens (some of) its internal borders

Photo: Luxembourg and German Foreign Ministers stand on the bridge over the Moselle River at the reopened border between the two countries on Saturday 16 May 2020. Credit: Oliver Dietze/dpa/Alamy Live News June

June

Europe continues to reopen (some of) its internal borders

Swiss customs officials open a fence closing the Swiss-French border in Thonex near Ambilly, France AFP

July

Summer European travelling in times of Covid…

Checking for coronavirus symptoms, Leonardo da Vinci–Fiumicino Airport in Rome, Italy, June 3, 2020. /AP

August

Entry-Exit System Pilot Project to Be Launched at EU Land Borders

September

The Swiss say yes to (continued) free movement in the EU

Photo: A poster of the Action for an independent and neutral Switzerland (AUNS) reading: “It’s getting tight -Yes to the anti-immigration initiative”. Adliswil, Switzerland September 15, 2020. REUTERS/Arnd Wiegmann/File Photo

October

The second wave hits European borders

Photo:  Checks at Hungary’s border. Gergely Besenyei/AFP/Getty Images

November

France calls for the reform of Schengen (again)

Photo: French President Emmanuel Macron during a visit to the border between France and Spain | Pool photo by Guillaume Horcajuelo/AFP via Getty Images

December

UK-EU deal and a new border in Gibraltar

Photo: Gibraltar. AP

A taste of Brexit’s Kent border?

Photo: Lorries line up on the way to Dover; PA

HAPPY 2021!!!

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

Europe’s borders in 2017: a visual review

Trumpean walls, Libya’s new slaves, Frontex vs NGOs, the Irish/Brexit border conundrum, the permanence of temporary checks at internal frontiers… These are some of the themes that defined European borders in 2017. Here is a visual review of the year that has just passed.

 

January

Not just a US thing: poll finds European support for Trump-like refugee ban

 

 

 

 

 

 

February

The time is not ripe: Schengen temporary border controls extended

 

 

 

 

 

 

March

Slave trade at Europe’s outskirts

 

 

 

 

 

 

April

Drama! Frontex vs NGOs, or who is making Europe’s migration crisis worse?

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

Rebel rebel…Denmark says no to lift temporary border controls

 

 

 

 

 

 

June

At last! Visa-free travel for Ukrainians to the EU

 

 

 

 

 

 

July

EU naval mission in Med: really helpful?

 

 

 

 

 

 

August

They did it at last… Austria starts checks at Italian border (or did they)?

 

 

 

 

 

 

September

“Temporary”? EU to allow Schengen border controls for up to three years

 

 

 

 

 

 

October

Romania’s (ruined) Schengen Plans: again, not the right time

 

 

 

 

 

 

November

 Celebrating 10 years of Schengen in Eastern Europe

 

 

 

 

 

 

December

May the force be with you: Brexit and the Irish border crucible

 

 

 

 

 

 

***

Europe’s borders in 2016: a visual review

2016, another year of turmoil on the Old Continent’s frontiers… Here is a visual summary of what happened.

 

January

Schengen (still) in crisis: internal borders across the EU reinstated

jan

 

 

 

 

 

 

February

The closing of the Balkan route: migrants stranded in Greece

feb-macedonia

 

 

 

 

 

February

Nato new mandate: refugees? Alliance vessels in the Mediterranean

Group ready and in place to provide their contributions to the other actors. The units of Standing NATO Maritime Group 2 (SNMG2) are conducting drills as part of NATO's participation in the international efforts to cut the lines of illegal trafficking and illegal migration in the Aegean Sea.

 

March

Schengen under further strain: tighter border security after Brussels attacks

brussels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April

First refugees under EU-Turkey deal land in Germany

first-refs-germany

 

 

 

 

 

 

May

Bad omen: Schengen European Museum ceiling collapse

may-ceiling

 

 

 

 

 

June

Brexit dixit: harder borders in the UK?   

june-brexit

 

 

 

 

 

 

September

The Great Wall of Calais: work on the latest European barrier begins …

calais-wall

 

 

 

 

 

 

October

Frontex redux: The new European Border and Coast Guard launched

frontex

 

 

 

 

 

November

Calais’ Jungle is no more…

calais-2

 

 

 

 

 

 

December

Migrant deaths in the Mediterranean at a record high

med-december

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