Showing posts with label intergovernmental organizations. Show all posts
Showing posts with label intergovernmental organizations. Show all posts

Monday, August 26, 2019

Map: What is the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA)?

African Continental Free Trade Area countries: Map of AfCFTA members and signatories as of August 2019. Who has signed the AfCFTA, who has ratified the AfCFTA, and who has not signed. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

New Trade Bloc: What is the AfCFTA Agreement?

Despite being neighbors, most countries in Africa trade more with other continents than with each other - a peculiar leftover of colonialism that the African Union (AU) has long been looking to change. Last year, the organization's member countries finally came together and agreed on the creation of one of the world's most expansive "free trade areas". The new zone, called the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), officially came into being on May 30, 2019, after a minimum threshold of 22 countries confirmed that they had copied its 2018 founding treaty into their national laws (a process called "ratification").

Friday, June 28, 2019

African Union Map Update: Sudan Suspended

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union, including active and suspended member countries and non-member territories. Updated for the June 2019 suspension of Sudan (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

Sudan Suspended from African Union

On June 6, the African Union (AU) suspended Sudan from membership in the continental organization. This is the first time any country has been suspended from the AU since 2016, when the Central African Republic (CAR) was reinstated after a three-year suspension.

Thursday, June 27, 2019

Map: Which Countries are in the African Union?

This map and explainer will be updated whenever there's a change in AU membership, including suspensions and reinstatements. News about each change will be published in separate articles, which you can find listed below, or by viewing all African Union content on PolGeoNow.

African Union members map: Map of Africa, showing which countries are in the African Union (AU) as of June 2019, and which member countries are suspended from participation (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from this blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA
(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

Article by Evan Centanni

What is the African Union?

Launched in 2002 as a replacement for the earlier Organization of African Unity (OAU), the African Union (AU) is an intergovernmental organization that works on increasing cooperation, stability, and development within the continent of Africa. The organization is headquartered in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. (Ethiopia is the only African country that the European empires never colonized, and is also the second most populous country on the continent.)

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Gambia Rejoins the Commonwealth (Map)

Map of the Gambia in the Commonwealth of Nations (British Commonwealth) as of 2018, color coded for former and current member countries (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, modified from public domain graphic. Visit our Commonwealth of Nations page to check for newer versions, or contact us for permission to use this map.

Commonwealth Readmits Gambia as Member

Last month the Republic of the Gambia was accepted back into the Commonwealth of Nations, a club of countries that were formerly part of the British Empire. The tiny West African country left the organization in 2013 under pressure from other members to improve its democracy and human rights record.

What Are the Commonwealth Countries? Map of the Commonwealth of Nations

This map and explainer will be updated whenever there's a change in Commonwealth membership, including suspensions and reinstatements. You can find articles on each change by scrolling to the bottom of this page, or by viewing all Commonwealth articles on PolGeoNow.

The Commonwealth: Who belongs to it? Map of current and former member countries of the Commonwealth of Nations (British Commonwealth) as of March 2018 (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, modified from public domain graphic. Contact us for permission to use this map.
(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

What is the Commonwealth of Nations?

The Commonwealth of Nations - formerly the "British Commonwealth", but now usually just called "the Commonwealth" - is a loose association of countries that grew out of the British Empire as its colonies transitioned into independent countries during the 20th Century. It more or less took its modern form in 1949, but its history goes back at least to 1926, when the most Westernized colonies of the British Empire were transitioning towards independence. It's mostly a casual forum for cooperation between countries that used to be British colonies or dependencies (though some other countries have joined), and it has a charter promoting values like world peace, democracy, and human rights.

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

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

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.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Morocco Joins African Union; CAR Un-suspended (Map)

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union, including active and suspended member countries, updated for the January 2017 admission of Morocco as a member, as well as the April 2016 lifting of the Central African Republic's (CAR) suspension (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from this blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA
(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

Article by Evan Centanni

Morocco Rejoins AU after Long Absence

The North African country of Morocco became the 55th member of the African Union (AU) this week, after member countries voted to let it back into the organization after 33 years on its own. Morocco withdrew from the Organisation for African Unity (OAU), an earlier version of the AU, in 1984. The AU now includes every independent country in Africa, not counting the unrecognized breakaway state of Somaliland. The last country to join was South Sudan, which became a member three weeks after declaring independence in July 2011.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Map of Border Controls Inside Europe's Schengen Area: August 2016

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

Last March, we explained Europe's Schengen free travel area in plain English, then published a map of which European countries had temporarily reintroduced border controls. We now present an updated and improved version of the border control map, reflecting several changes from the past five months.

Map of Temporarily Reintroduced Border Control in the Schengen Area (the European Union's border-free travel zone) in August 2016, 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 March

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.

With last year's spike in numbers of refugees and other immigrants arriving in Europe, many Schengen countries have rushed to control the flow of people by using these special temporary border controls. When we published our previous map of temporary Schengen border controls back in March, there were seven countries policing their borders with fellow Schengen members. Today there are only six, and there have been major changes to which borders are controlled:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

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

The UK is preparing to quit the European Union (EU) after the 2016 "Brexit" vote. But how much do you know about the EU's membership roster? Here's a 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 June 2016 (colorblind accessible).
The UK is still part of the EU for now, since the vote to leave hasn't been implemented yet.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA
(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

Which Countries Use the Euro? (Map of the Eurozone)

This Eurozone map and explainer article have been updated to June 2016. You can also view the original version from 2014.


Map of the Eurozone (euro area), showing which countries use the euro as their currency. Includes members, pre-members (ERM II), EU non-members using the euro, and other EU countries (color blind accessible).
The Eurozone, European Union, and other countries using the euro.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA
(Subscribers click here to view this article in the members area.)

Friday, June 24, 2016

UK Votes to Quit EU: Map of How Britain Voted in the Brexit Referendum

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

By Evan Centanni

UK Brexit vote map: Map of election results in Britain's June 2016 referendum on leaving the European Union (EU). Continuous red-to-blue color scheme gives a more honest depiction of the similarities between different election districts. Colorblind accessible.
Map of election results in the UK's "Brexit" referendum. Modified by Evan Centanni from Wikimedia map by Mirrorme22, Nilfanion, TUBS, and Sting (CC BY-SA).
UK Votes to Quit EU
The results are in for yesterday's referendum on UK membership in the European Union, and the winner is "Leave". Brits voted by a margin of 52% to 48% in favor of exiting the European Union, making a "Brexit" (British exit from the EU) more or less guaranteed in the coming years. Britain will become the first member country ever to leave the EU, and the British overseas territory of Gibraltar is expected to get pulled out with it.

Learn More: Brexit: 9 Geography Facts You Should Know About the Referendum and Britain's EU Membership

Who Voted to Stay
Voter tendencies varied a lot from place to place. Support for the "Remain" side was strong across Scotland, culturally Irish parts of Northern Ireland, the London area, and a handful of other cities in England (led by Cambridge, Oxford, and Brighton).

By far the greatest show of support for Remain was a win by 96% in Gibraltar - which isn't even in the UK proper, but got to vote because of its unique status as a British external territory that's in the EU.

Thursday, June 23, 2016

Brexit: 9 Geography Facts You Should Know About the Referendum and Britain's EU Membership

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

By Evan Centanni 

The European Union. Click for full map and list of members.
Today the UK is voting on whether to leave the European Union. If you've been paying attention to the news, you've probably heard about the intense debate over whether Brits should vote "Leave" or "Remain". But if you're like me and mainly in this for the geography trivia, here are some fun facts you might not know about the so-called "Brexit":

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

On the Ground: Gibraltar and the "Brexit" Referendum

This is the first installment of PolGeoNow's On the Ground, a new series of exclusive photo essays on what political geography looks like in the real world. Whether it's borders, nationalism, or other geopolitical phenomena, we'll bring the on-the-ground situations to your screen in vivid detail.

Update 2016-06-24: Gibraltar on Thursday voted in favor of the UK staying in the European Union, by an incredible margin of  96% to 4%. However, the UK as a whole voted to leave the EU, meaning that Gibraltar can expect to get pulled out with it, against the wishes of the Gibraltarians.
 
Photo of the Gibraltar Stronger in Europe campaign office on the British territory's main street. Gibraltar's population is overwhelmingly against a so-called Brexit, or departure of the UK from the European Union.
Subscribers click here to view this article in the ad-free members area. Not a member yet? Learn about PolGeoNow subscriptions!

Map of Gibraltar and its location in Europe relative to the UK and Spain
Right: Map of Gibraltar by Eric Gaba (source; CC BY-SA)
Left: Gibraltar's location in Europe (based on this Wikimedia Commons map by TUBS; CC BY-SA)
Gibraltar prepares to vote on whether UK should leave European Union
Last month, PolGeoNow's Evan Centanni and Meihsing Kuo visited the small British territory of Gibraltar (pronounced "jih-BRALL-ter"), one month ahead of the UK's referendum on whether to leave or remain in the European Union (EU).

Gibraltar, a tiny peninsula connected to Spain - and claimed by the Spanish government - is the only British overseas territory that's part of the EU. It's also the only external territory whose residents are eligible to vote in the so-called "Brexit" referendum without living in the UK proper. ("Brexit" is an abbreviation for "British exit" from the EU.)

Thursday, March 3, 2016

Europe's Free Travel Zone in Danger: Map of Temporary Border Controls in the Schengen Area, March 2016

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

In the companion to this article, we explain in plain English what the Schengen Area is, and which countries are part of it. Here, we present a map of the area's current crisis, showing where border checks have been reintroduced. Details and explanation in the article below.

Map of Temporarily Reintroduced Border Control in 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 (colorblind accessible).

Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA
Subscribers click here to view this article in the ad-free members area. Not a member yet? Learn about PolGeoNow subscriptions!

Article by Evan Centanni

Borders Re-emerging Inside the Schengen Area

Over the past months, concern has been rising that Europe's border-free travel zone, known as the Schengen Area, is falling apart. As unprecedented numbers of refugees and other migrants enter the Schengen Area, individual member countries have begun to re-start border checks in the places where they abolished them decades ago. Read on to learn the why, how, and where of the Schengen Area's new border controls!

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

The European Union's Schengen free-travel zone is in danger of falling apart: In the companion to this article, we map which Schengen borders have had ID checks reintroduced to regulate the movement of refugees.

But what exactly 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!


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 (colorblind accessible).

Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA
Subscribers click here to view this article in the ad-free members area. Not a member yet? Learn about PolGeoNow subscriptions!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Map: Kazakhstan Joins WTO

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Map of World Trade Organization (WTO) member and observer countries, updated for December 2015 to include new member Kazakhstan
Member and observer states of the World Trade Organization (WTO). Map by Evan Centanni, starting from public domain blank map (license: CC BY-NC-SA).