Showing posts with label europe. Show all posts
Showing posts with label europe. Show all posts

Friday, March 27, 2020

Schengen Border Controls in the Time of Coronavirus (March 27, 2020)

This is an older edition of our Schengen Area border controls map, preserved here with its accompanying timeline for the historical record. To read the full article and see the current map and country-by-country list of border controls, visit our updated Schengen border controls article.

Schengen borders map showing temporary reintroduction of border controls in the Schengen Area (the European Union's border-free travel zone) as of March 27, 2020, during the widespread closure of internal Schengen borders due to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic. Also includes, in a different color, controls announced by governments where the EU has not been notified.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA
Article by Evan Centanni

Coronavirus: Schengen Border Controls Timeline March 1-27, 2020

Border controls have proliferated within Europe's "Schengen Area", where there's normally no ID check required to travel from one country to another. For more details, and to see a current map and list country-by-country list of official controls, visit our updated Coronavirus Schengen Border Controls article. Continue reading this article for the timeline of changes to official border controls from the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak through March 27, as preserved from the previous edition of the article.

Map: Schengen Border Controls Before Coronavirus (2017-2020)

We mapped reinstated border controls within Europe's Schengen free travel area in March 2016, August 2016, February 2017, and August 2017, amid the past half-decade's surge of new refugee and immigrant arrivals. This article chronicles the history of the border checks from 2017 until just before the coronavirus pandemic of 2020. See the companion piece to this article for border controls during the coronavirus outbreak.

Schengen borders map showing temporary reintroduction of border controls in the Schengen Area (the European Union's border-free travel zone) as of February 2020, showing internal Schengen borders closed to passport-free travel just before the surge of new border controls enacted for the coronavirus outbreak. Map is also accurate for most of the period from from late 2019 through early 2020, and similar to the situation in 2018.

Changes to the way France is depicted compared to the previous map represent a stylistic adjustment, and not a change to the actual situation. Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA
Article by Evan Centanni

Border Controls Between Schengen Countries

As anyone who's visited Europe in recent decades knows, much of the continent is linked together as part of the "Schengen Area", a collection of countries that don't make travelers show any ID to cross back and forth across the borders between them - just walk on in (this system is overseen by the European Union, but the Schengen Area and the EU aren't the same thing). Though these borders are supposed to stay unregulated most of the time, the system does allow countries to temporarily reintroduce border controls under certain circumstances.

Map of the Schengen Area, Europe's Border-free Travel Zone

What is the "Schengen Area"? What's the difference between Schengen and the EU? And which countries does Schengen include? Read on for all the answers, explained in plain English!

Important note: Though borders within the Schengen Area are normally completely open, countries can sometimes bring back temporary (or even long-term) ID checks. You can check for recent maps of the situation by viewing all Schengen border control articles on PolGeoNow. This is especially true during the 2020 global coronavirus pandemic, when many countries have not only brought back border controls, but are also turning away foreign travelers.

Map of the Schengen Area (the European Union's border-free travel zone), color-coded for EU Schengen countries, non-EU Schengen countries, future Schengen countries, and Schengen-exempt EU countries, as well as microstates unofficially participating in the Schengen agreements. Updated to 2020 for Brexit, removing the UK as a non-Schengen EU member. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA

Saturday, February 8, 2020

Brexit: UK Leaves European Union (Plus: What Actually Changed?)

Map of the European Union, including all member countries, official candidate countries, and potential candidate countries, as of February 2020, updated for Brexit - the departure of the UK and Gibraltar (colorblind accessible). Also file under: Map of European Union Member Countries.

Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA

Britain Finally Exits EU

Last week, the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland - "UK" or "Britain" for short - became the first country ever to formally leave the European Union (EU).

This marks the turning point, but not the end, of the years-long saga nicknamed "Brexit" (short for "British exit"), which started with a 2016 referendum.

The long-delayed official exit finally arrived in the first second of February 1, 2020 at the EU headquarters in Belgium. Because of a time zone difference, this was 11:00 pm of January 31 in the UK. But because of a negotiated "transition period", most practical changes won't go into effect until at least the end of this year (read on for more about that).

The British territory of Gibraltar, located along the southern coast of Spain, was also pulled out of the EU alongside the UK.

How it Happened: A Concise Timeline of Brexit

Map of the European Union, including all member countries, official candidate countries, and potential candidate countries, as of February 2020, updated for Brexit - the departure of the UK and Gibraltar (colorblind accessible). Also file under: Map of European Union Member Countries.

Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA

UK Leaves EU: What Were They Doing All That Time?

Last week, the UK actually left the European Union, in a long-anticipated move called for by a referendum vote in 2016. This British exit, or "Brexit" was never meant to happen in less than two years - by how did it stretch out to almost four?

We've put together a clear and concise timeline summarizing the process, without any of the confusing technical lingo or agonizing political details. Enjoy!


Friday, February 7, 2020

Map: Which Countries are in the European Union in 2020, Which Aren't, and Which Want to Join?

The UK has finally officially left the European Union (EU), almost four years after its famous "Brexit" vote, and taken the British territory of Gibraltar out with it. Here's our updated map and list of which countries are in the EU, which ones are trying to join, and which European countries are in neither group.

Map of the European Union, including all member countries, official candidate countries, and potential candidate countries, as of February 2020, updated for Brexit (colorblind accessible). Also file under: Map of European Union Member Countries.
The European Union after the January 2020 departure of the UK and Gibraltar (pre-Brexit version here).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA

Monday, February 18, 2019

"North Macedonia" Name Change Goes Into Effect

Are there two Macedonias? Where is North Macedonia located? Why is North Macedonia called north? Map of Macedonia, including both the recently renamed North Macedonia as per the Prespa Agreement and the Greek provinces of Macedonia.
North Macedonia is "north" because most of historical Macedonia was south of it, in what's now Greece. (Contact us for permission to use this map.)

North Macedonia: New Name Adopted

Last Tuesday, the controversially-named Republic of Macedonia - also known as the "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) - officially become the Republic of North Macedonia. The changed entered into force exactly eight months after the country first made a deal with Greece to end their naming and identity dispute.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

"North Macedonia" Vote Not All About Country Name

Are there two Macedonias? Where is FYROM located? Where is Macedonia in relation to Greece? Map of Macedonia, including both the controversially-named Republic of Macedonian (FYROM) and the Greek provinces of Macedonia.
Besides the controversially-named Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Greece has three Macedonia provinces too. Contact us for permission to use this map.

Referendum in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

Last Sunday, people in Southeastern Europe's Republic of Macedonia - also known as FYROM, an acronym for "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" - voted on whether to approve a recent deal signed with Greece. The deal famously includes changing the country's name to "Republic of North Macedonia", but it's actually about a lot more than that.

For the details on the referendum and its results, check out our companion article: What Happened in the "North Macedonia" Referendum?

What Happened in the "North Macedonia" Referendum?

Are there two Macedonias? Where is FYROM located? Where is Macedonia in relation to Greece? Map of Macedonia, including both the controversially-named Republic of Macedonian (FYROM) and the Greek provinces of Macedonia.
Besides the controversially-named Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Greece has three Macedonia provinces too. Contact us for permission to use this map.

Referendum in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

Last Sunday, people in Southeastern Europe's Republic of Macedonia - also known as FYROM, an acronym for "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" - voted on whether to approve a recent deal signed with Greece.

The deal famously includes changing the country's name to "Republic of North Macedonia", though that's not all it's about.

The question on the ballots was:

Friday, September 28, 2018

"Macedonia": Why is a Name So Important?

Where is Macedonia in relation to Greece and the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia of Alexander the Great? Map of ancient Macedonia compared to current borders of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
Ancient definitions of Macedonia compared with modern borders.
Contact us for permission to use this map.

What's in a Name? The "Macedonia" Dispute

This Sunday, Southeastern Europe's Republic of Macedonia is voting on a deal with Greece that includes changing its name to "Republic of North Macedonia". Greece objects to its neighbor using the name "Macedonia", and has been locked in a bitter dispute over it ever since the smaller country declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

The spat is serious enough that the Republic of Macedonia has been forced to accept the temporary name "former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) in the UN and other international organizations for the past 25 years, and has been blocked entirely from joining the European Union and NATO, where Greece holds veto power on new member applications.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Catalonia Declares Independence from Spain: What Now?

This report is part of our Referendum 2017 coverage, spotlighting disputed independence votes for Kurdistan in Iraq and Catalonia in Spain, plus less-controversial self-rule referendums in three areas of Italy.

Catalonia and Spain: Map of Catalonia's location within Spain and relative to neighboring countries, including Spanish capital Madrid and Catalan capital Barcelona.
Map by Evan Centanni, based on this map by Mutxamel. License: CC BY-SA
By Evan Centanni

Declaration of Catalan Independence

Catalonia, a self-governed region within Spain, has declared an independent "Catalan Republic" nearly a month after holding a controversial independence vote, despite powerful opposition from the Spanish government.

The declaration was made on Friday, October 27, after the region's parliament - elected legally under the Spanish constitution but now defying it - voted 70-10 in favor of independence. Anti-independence parties boycotted the vote, but 70 votes is enough that the motion would have passed either way, since the body has a total of 135 members.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Referendum 2017: Three Autonomy Votes in Italy Today

This report is part of our Referendum 2017 coverage, spotlighting votes on the political status of Kurdistan in Iraq, Catalonia in Spain, and now three areas of Italy. However, these latest votes are much different from the controversial ones we've covered in the last month...

Update: All three referendums have passed. In Lombardy, 95% of participating voters favored autonomy, but with only 39% turnout; and in Veneto, autonomy won support from 98% of voters with 57% turnout, meeting the minimum 50% turnout requirement. Nearly 99% of participants in Belluno province supported autonomy within the Veneto region, with 52% turning out to vote.

Veneto and Lombardy referendum: Map of Italy showing which regions already have special forms of autonomy, and which regions are voting on whether to request more autonomy in October 2017, which include the cities of Venice and Milan. Also marks Belluno province, which is holding its own referendum on more autonomy from the Veneto region. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni, based on blank map by TUBS and NordNordWest (Wikimedia Commons). License: CC BY-SA

Where are referendums happening?

Referendums are being conducted today in two of Italy's top level "regions" (something in between a province and a US-style state). Both of them are located in the north of the country: Lombardy, which includes the city of Milan, and Veneto, which includes the city of Venice. These two regions are voting on whether to negotiate increased self-rule with the Italian national government through a framework set out in the constitution.

A third referendum is happening in the province of Belluno, part of the Veneto region, on whether to ask for more self-rule from the regional government in Venice. Belluno is a mountainous province at the northern end of the Veneto region, sharing a border with Austria.

Friday, October 13, 2017

Catalonia Referendum: Detailed Results in 5 Maps

This map report is part of our Referendum 2017 coverage, spotlighting controversial independence votes in two of the world's autonomous regions: Kurdistan voted for independence from Iraq last month, and Catalonia tried to vote on leaving Spain on Oct. 1. Now we've mapped out Catalonia's results in detail based on data from the regional government.
 
Catalan referendum 2017 map: Detailed, municipality-level map of results in Catalonia's disputed October 2017 referendum on independence from Spain, showing proportion of YES votes in favor of independence in each municipality. Boundaries of comarques (comarcas) shown. Labels cities of Barcelona, Tarragona, Lleida, and Girona. Colorblind accessible.

Controversial Independence Vote

On October 1, Spain's autonomous region of Catalonia tried to hold a referendum on independence from Spain. After Spanish courts ruled the vote illegal, Spanish national police attempted to prevent voting, and the result was that voting was disrupted in many areas and not organized properly in most others. Still, Catalan government data states that some 42% of the region's residents came out to vote anyway, and of those who did, about 90% voted in favor of secession. Though Catalonia's president had promised to declare independence within 48 hours of a YES victory, so far he's delayed doing so.

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Updated! Catalonia Referendum Results Maps: How Did Each Region Vote?

Updated! This article's maps and text have been updated with final results released by the Catalan government. See below for more details. We also now have an article with detailed results maps broken down by municipality.

This map report is part of our Referendum 2017 coverage, spotlighting controversial independence votes in two of the world's autonomous regions: Kurdistan voted for independence from Iraq last week, and Catalonia voted to leave Spain this weekend. Now detailed results are available, and we're working on getting them mapped out.

2017 Catalonia independence referendum results map. This map shows support for independence by region (vegueria) in the October 1 Catalan vote on independence from Spain. Colorblind accessible. 2017 Catalonia independence referendum voter turnout map. This map shows voter turnout by region (vegueria) in the October 1 Catalan vote on independence from Spain. Colorblind accessible.
Maps by Evan Centanni, starting from blank map by Vinals and Rwxrwxrwx. License: CC BY-SA

Catalonia Independence Vote (Updated)

Detailed, final results are now available for Catalonia's controversial referendum on independence from Spain. The vote was widely disrupted by the Spanish police after courts ruled it illegal, resulting in massive irregularities that will make it hard for outsiders to accept as a proper democratic referendum. Still, some 43% of eligible Catalan voters reportedly made it out to cast ballots, meaning there's plenty of reported data to look at.

Saturday, September 30, 2017

Catalonia Voting on Independence: What Will Happen?

This article is part of our Referendum 2017 coverage, spotlighting controversial independence votes in two of the world's autonomous regions: Kurdistan voted for independence from Iraq this Monday, and Catalonia is about to vote on leaving Spain. 

Update: Check out the bottom of the article for a brief summary of what's actually happened since referendum day!

Catalonia and Spain: Map of Catalonia's location within Spain and relative to neighboring countries, including Spanish capital Madrid and Catalan capital Barcelona.
Map by Evan Centanni, based on this map by Mutxamel. License: CC BY-SA
By Evan Centanni

Catalonia Independence Vote

Catalonia, a self-governed region within Spain, is about to start voting on independence in a referendum that Spanish courts have ruled illegal. So what will happen? No one really knows, but we've taken our best shot at answering six of the big questions...

Referendum 2017: What is Catalonia?

This article is part of our Referendum 2017 coverage, spotlighting controversial independence votes in two of the world's autonomous regions: Kurdistan voted for independence from Iraq this Monday, and Catalonia will vote Sunday on leaving Spain. 

The following article is adapted from one originally published in 2013.

Catalonia and Spain: Map of Catalonia's location within Spain and relative to neighboring countries, including Spanish capital Madrid and Catalan capital Barcelona.
Map by Evan Centanni, based on this map by Mutxamel. License: CC BY-SA
By Omar Alkhalili, with additional reporting by Evan Centanni

Not Independent Yet: So What is Catalonia Now?

Catalonia is one of the "autonomous communities" of Spain (kind of like a state in the US), and also holds the official status of a "nationality" (but not "nation") within the Spanish system of government. Regions of Spain with this status are considered to be something similar to countries within the larger Spanish nation, allowing for their own separateness from Spanish mainstream culture without actually being independent.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Map: Which Schengen Borders are Closed to Passport-Free Travel in August 2017?

There are newer versions of this map available. To see them, view all Schengen Area articles.

Last year, we explained Europe's Schengen free travel area in plain English, then published maps of which European countries had temporarily reintroduced border controls as of March 2016, August 2016, and February 2017. Here's an update and summary for August of 2017.

Schengen borders map showing temporary reintroduction of border controls in the Schengen Area (the European Union's border-free travel zone) as of August 2017, showing internal Schengen borders closed to passport-free travel in the period after the election of French President Emmanual Macron.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA
Article by Evan Centanni

Current Border Controls Between Schengen Countries

As anyone who's visited Europe in recent decades knows, much of the continent is linked together as part of the "Schengen Area", a collection of countries that don't make travelers show any ID to cross back and forth across their borders (though this system is overseen by the European Union, the Schengen Area and the EU aren't the same thing). But the system does allow countries to temporarily reintroduce border controls under certain circumstances.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Why Brexit Matters: 5 Things That Might Change When Britain Leaves the EU

By Bryn Jansson

Map of the European Union, including all member countries, official candidate countries, and potential candidate countries, as 2017 (colorblind accessible).
Map of current and future EU member countries

Brexit Process Finally Begins

The United Kingdom (UK) and the European Union (EU) began formal divorce negotiations in Brussels last Monday, June 19, starting a 21-month sprint to the March 2019 Brexit deadline. ("Brexit" is short for "British Exit" from the EU, since "Britain" is another name for the UK.)

UK voters’ surprise choice to leave the EU happened exactly a year ago, on June 23, 2016 - but it didn’t automatically trigger the two-year countdown clock on exit negotiations necessary for departure under Article 50 of the EU’s Lisbon Treaty.


Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Schengen Border Controls in February 2017: Map of Free Travel Restrictions

There are newer versions of this map available. To see them, view all Schengen Area articles. 

Last year, we explained Europe's Schengen free travel area in plain English, then published maps of which European countries had temporarily reintroduced border controls as of March 2016 and August 2016. We now present an updated map and summary of the situation.

Schengen border checks map: map of Temporarily Reintroduced Border Control in the Schengen Area (the European Union's border-free travel zone) as of February 2017, color-coded for EU Schengen countries, non-EU Schengen countries, future Schengen countries, and Schengen-exempt EU countries, as well as microstates unofficially participating in the Schengen agreements (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA
(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

Article by Evan Centanni

Changes to Schengen Border Controls Since 2016

As anyone who's visited Europe in recent decades knows, much of the continent is linked together as part of the "Schengen Area", a collection of countries that don't make travelers show any ID to cross back and forth across their borders (though this system is overseen by the European Union, the Schengen Area and the EU are not the same thing). But the system does allow countries to temporarily reintroduce border controls under certain circumstances.

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

What is Wallonia? Belgium's Unusual Federal System

(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

Map of Belgium's three official administrative regions: the Flemish Region (Flanders), the Walloon Region (Wallonia), and the Brussels-Capital Region
Map of Belgium's three official Language Communities: the Flemish Community, the Walloon Community, and the German-speaking Community
Maps by Evan Centanni, from base map by Vascer
(CC BY-SA)
By Bryn Jansson
 

Wallonia vs. the European Union

Belgium often seems like an afterthought in European politics. It doesn’t have the economic clout of a Germany, the political influence of a France, or the military power of a Britain. It’s a small country tucked into the northwest corner of Europe, and known mostly for its chocolate and beer (though the acclaim both have earned is well-deserved). It’s home to the European Union headquarters in Brussels, but otherwise holds no special political power in the for-now 28-nation bloc.

Yet there it was this October, caught in the middle of a European political drama, the lone holdout of the EU-28 against the Comprehensive Economic and Trade Agreement (CETA), a large scale free-trade deal with Canada. Even more amazingly, it wasn’t even the whole of Belgium blocking the trade deal, but only the sub-region of Wallonia, home to 32 percent of Belgians (known as “Walloons”) and less than 1 percent of EU citizens.