rama at Europe’s borders often foreshadows momentous change: the Soviet blockade of Berlin in 1948 foreshadowed the Cold War; the dismantling of a Hungarian fence bordering Austria in 1989 foreshadowed the end of Soviet rule in Eastern Europe; and, now, the reimposition of border controls by Germany and Austria could be foreshadowing the erosion of the Schengen free-travel zone. The Schengen zone is one of Europe’s greatest achievements. For the past two decades, Europeans and legal visitors have been able to travel throughout twenty-six participating countries without being troubled by customs or passport controls. Schengen makes travel faster and easier and is used as tangible evidence of the ever-closer unity of the European Union. However, is that union an outdated pipe dream? Schengen is truly only a partial act of integration, for migration policies and policing remain regulated by the individual European nations themselves. In addition, as with the euro, outside events have destabilized the system and damaged relations between member nations. Schengen allows the suspension of travel for extraordinary events or crisis. During the recent refugee crisis, Germany broke the unspoken taboo against suspending free-travel; other nations will now have fewer qualms about following suit. Ultimately, this will lead to a breakdown of the Schengen zone. The idea that EU leaders can act in the common interest of others will have suffered yet another blow. A crucial, distinctly European freedom will be lost if the zone is dismantled — and if intervention and compromise do not occur between member states, this is exactly what will happen.
How The Schengen Area Was Created || BBC News