The shattering of Schengen: The map that reveals how ELEVEN countries - from ... trends now

The shattering of Schengen: The map that reveals how ELEVEN countries - from ... trends now
The shattering of Schengen: The map that reveals how ELEVEN countries - from ... trends now

The shattering of Schengen: The map that reveals how ELEVEN countries - from ... trends now

Day by day, the face of Europe is dramatically changing as terrorist threats and out-of-control immigration destroy the EU's idyll of passport-free travel between its member states.

Border checks are springing up across the bloc in a scramble by governments to restore their sovereignty and bolster national security to safeguard citizens.

A detailed map compiled by the Mail shows how 11 nations in the Schengen area — from France to Slovakia, Sweden to Germany — have re-instated long-abandoned border restrictions including identity vetting, passport checks, police interviews, static checkpoints and vehicle inspections.

According to an EU report on the new controls seen by the Mail, many countries believe border checks are essential to stop 'infiltration' by Middle Eastern terrorists posing as migrants, and growing strains on overwhelmed asylum reception centres.

Italy, for example, ramped up border checks this month with neighbouring Slovenia, blaming the Israel-Hamas war for an 'increased threat of violence within the EU' and the risk of terrorist-migrants arriving amid 'constant migratory pressure from land and sea'.

Many countries believe border checks are essential to stop 'infiltration' by Middle Eastern terrorists posing as migrants, and growing strains on overwhelmed asylum reception centres

Many countries believe border checks are essential to stop 'infiltration' by Middle Eastern terrorists posing as migrants, and growing strains on overwhelmed asylum reception centres

France has reintroduced checks at all its internal EU borders. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that France was looking for 'decisions in a Europe surrounded by unstable lands'

France has reintroduced checks at all its internal EU borders. Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said that France was looking for 'decisions in a Europe surrounded by unstable lands'

Slovenia, in turn, announced checks on its borders with Hungary and Croatia, saying it faced much the same problems as Italy, as well as 'threats to public order and internal security'.

The border clampdowns fly in the face of the Schengen treaty introduced nearly 40 years ago to allow free movement of travellers between France, Germany, Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg.

Named after the area where Luxembourg, France and Germany converge — and where the treaty was signed — it soon covered the majority of countries in the rapidly expanding EU.

Schengen rules allow passport-free travel between member states — without identity checks — to anyone entering the EU until they leave.

Although championed by Brussels bureaucrats and politicians as 'the crown jewel of European integration', the policy has been blamed for acting as a lure for migrants and terrorists.

Last year, a third of a million asylum-seekers, refugees and illegal migrants successfully entered the EU through its external borders and were then — under Schengen rules — able to travel on wherever they wished inside the bloc.

The Mail has monitored migrants both on their arrival in the EU and during their onward journeys. This summer we tracked Tunisians who took only four days by bus and train to travel from the island of Sicily, via Italy, to the northern French port of Dunkirk, where they bought a journey on a trafficker's boat to the UK.

Meanwhile, as we await a decision by the UK Supreme Court this Wednesday on whether the Government's proposal to send migrants to Rwanda is lawful, Germany last week announced its own plans for a Rwanda-style scheme to process asylum-seekers outside the EU and speed up deportations of illegal migrants, while ramping up checks at borders with Austria, Switzerland, Czechia and Poland.

Italy, too, said it hoped to send migrants to Albanian reception centres for decisions on who should be refused entry.

But the border crackdown by EU nations has come under fire for restricting travel rights for 400 million Europeans living in the bloc.

A recent report by Euroactiv, the pan-European news website, noted: 'Taking the train from Austria into Germany feels like Schengen never existed. Upon crossing the border, the journey stops. All doors . . . are closed. Well-equipped policemen stroll on to the train to begin checking identities. The immediate impact: a delay on every trip.'

The return of internal checks within the Schengen area has been criticised for restricting travel rights for 400m Europeans

The return of internal checks within the Schengen area has been criticised for restricting travel rights for 400m Europeans 

Horst Neidhardt, of the Centre for European Policy Studies, warned earlier this month that tightening borders showed 'the fragility of the Schengen zone

Horst Neidhardt, of the Centre for European Policy Studies, warned earlier this month that tightening borders showed 'the fragility of the Schengen zone

Germany's ruling coalition ¿ which includes pro-migration Greens ¿ has sounded the alarm over police figures showing 20,000 illegal migrants entered the country in September alone

Germany's ruling coalition — which includes pro-migration Greens — has sounded the alarm over police figures showing 20,000 illegal migrants entered the country in September alone

Posters have been put up all over the town of Banyuls-sur-Mer in southern France demanding that four roads over the nearby border with Spain are opened again. Used by people-traffickers bringing migrants illegally northwards in the EU, they have been shut as an 'anti-terrorism' measure, says the Paris government — dismaying locals who now have to travel miles further to visit relatives or work.

At the Brussels-based Centre for European Policy Studies, migration expert Alberto-Horst Neidhardt warned earlier this month that tightening borders showed 'the fragility of the Schengen zone'.

Thanks to Schengen, he added,

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