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

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Schengen Border Controls in the Time of Coronavirus (April 14, 2020)

This map and article have been updated to April 14, 2020. You can also view the previous edition of the map, from March 27, with its accompanying timeline.

Since 2016, PolGeoNow has mapped reinstated border controls within Europe's Schengen free travel area, with the companion piece to this article covering changes from mid-2017 up to last month. Now, border controls between European countries have drastically expanded amid the global coronavirus pandemic. 

Read on for a country-by-country list of border controls and travel bans, plus a timeline of what went into effect when.

Schengen borders map showing temporary reintroduction of border controls in the Schengen Area (the European Union's border-free travel zone) as of April 14, 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-related Border Checks in the Schengen Area

As many travelers know, much of Europe is linked together as part of the "Schengen Area", a collection of countries that don't make travelers show any ID to cross the borders between them, and don't regulate what people bring across with them either (although this system is overseen by the European Union, the Schengen Area and the EU aren't the same thing). But under special circumstances, member countries can choose to temporarily resume border checks (also known as "border control").

Monday, April 6, 2020

Map: North Macedonia Joins NATO

Map of NATO allies in 2020, with all members including the newest country to join, North Macedonia (colorblind accessible).


Graphic modified by Evan Centanni from this map by Wikimedia user Addicted04 (CC BY-SA).

New NATO Ally: North Macedonia

Southeastern Europe's Republic of North Macedonia has been admitted as a full member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Its membership officially went into effect on Friday, March 27, and a welcoming ceremony was held at the organization's headquarters the next Monday. North Macedonia is the 30th country to join NATO.

Membership had been promised to the country in exchange for striking a compromise in its dispute with NATO member Greece, who argued that the neighboring country was falsely claiming ownership of Greek history. Part of the deal, finalized in February 2019, was changing the country's name from "Republic of Macedonia" to "Republic of North Macedonia" - softening the implication that it's the heir to the ancient kingdom of Macedonia, which was mostly located in what's now Greece.

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

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

Fact Check: Is the AfCFTA the World's Second Biggest Free Trade Area?

African Continental Free Trade Area countries: Map of AfCFTA members and signatories as of October 2019. Who has signed the AfCFTA, who has ratified the AfCFTA, and who has not signed. Updated for 28th ratification by Mauritius. Colorblind accessible.
The AfCFTA is planned to cover almost all of Africa, but doesn't yet.
The recently-created African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) now has 28 full member countries, with 26 more signed on to the project as future members.

That's a lot of members for a free trade area, and everyone seems to be calling it the "world's biggest free trade area since the WTO". But is that label really accurate?

(If you don't want to read the whole article, scroll down to the conclusion for a short summary.)

Monday, October 21, 2019

Mauritius Becomes Full Member of AfCFTA (Map)

African Continental Free Trade Area countries: Map of AfCFTA members and signatories as of October 2019. Who has signed the AfCFTA, who has ratified the AfCFTA, and who has not signed. Updated for 28th ratification by Mauritius. Colorblind accessible.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

Mauritius Ratifies AfCFTA Treaty

Two months ago, we reported on this year's creation of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), an African Union (AU) project to increase trade within Africa. Almost all of Africa's countries have signed on to the AfCFTA, but they only become full members once they've ratified its founding treaty (adopted it into their national laws) and formally registered their ratification with the AU.

Monday, August 26, 2019

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

There are newer versions of this map available. To see them, view all AfCFTA updates.

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?

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.

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.