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

Sunday, October 25, 2020

African Union Un-Suspends Mali (Map)

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union in 2020, including active and suspended member countries and non-member territories. Updated for the October 2020 reinstatement of Mali (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

African Union Lifts Suspension of Mali

Less than two months after the African Union (AU) suspended Mali from membership in the continental organization, it ended the suspension earlier this month. It had been suspended after a military faction overthrew the government, but the recent appointment of a civilian-led transitional government have led the AU to lift its suspension. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), from which Mali was also suspended in August, has lifted the economic sanctions that it posed on the member country. However, the suspension of Mali's voting rights in ECOWAS bodies, which was imposed at the same time, seems to still be in place.

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: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union in 2020, including active and suspended member countries and non-member territories. Updated for the September 2019 reinstatement of Sudan, the June 2020 suspension of South Sudan, and the August 2020 suspension of Mali (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from this blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

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.)

Thursday, August 20, 2020

African Union Map Update: Mali & South Sudan Suspended, Sudan Reinstated

African Union: Map of Africa showing which countries are in the African Union in 2020, including active and suspended member countries and non-member territories. Updated for the September 2019 reinstatement of Sudan, the June 2020 suspension of South Sudan, and the August 2020 suspension of Mali (colorblind accessible).
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Eric Gaba. License: CC BY-SA

Mali Suspended from African Union

The African Union (AU) suspended Mali from membership in the continental organization yesterday, after army mutineers marched to country's capital and overthrew the president. Major protests had been calling for the president's resignation for months, but his removal by force has not gone over well with the international community. In addition to the AU, Mali has also been suspended from the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), an important group including most of Mali's neighboring countries.

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Bulgaria and Croatia Enter Eurozone "Waiting Room" (ERM II)

This article covers the latest changes to PolGeoNow's map of which countries use the euro.

Map of the Eurozone (euro area), showing which countries use the euro as their currency. Includes members, pre-members (ERM II or ERM-2 waiting area), EU non-members using the euro, and other EU countries (color blind accessible). Updated for July 2020 with the entry of Croatia and Bulgaria into the ERM-II.
The Eurozone, European Union, and other countries using the euro.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA

Croatia and Bulgaria preparing to adopt the euro

The southeastern European countries of Bulgaria and Croatia have been approved by the European Union's central bank to take the next step towards joining the Eurozone - the organization of countries that officially use the euro as their shared currency. As new participants in the "European Exchange Rate Mechanism II" (ERM II or ERM-2), Croatia and Bulgaria are on track to adopt the euro after a 2-3 year waiting period - likely on January 1, 2024.

Which Countries Use the Euro in 2020? (Map of the Eurozone)

This Eurozone map and explainer article have been updated to July 2020. The article was originally published in June 2016, and the earliest version of the map appeared in a 2014 news article.

Map of the Eurozone (euro area), showing which countries use the euro as their currency. Includes members, pre-members (ERM II or ERM-2 waiting area), EU non-members using the euro, and other EU countries (color blind accessible). Updated for July 2020 with the entry of Croatia and Bulgaria into the ERM-II.
The Eurozone, European Union, and other countries using the euro.
Map by Evan Centanni, from blank map by Ssolbergj. License: CC BY-SA

Article by Caleb Centanni, with additional content by Evan Centanni 

What is the Eurozone?

Officially called the "euro area", the Eurozone is a nickname for the group of countries in Europe that share a single currency, called the euro. The euro currency is administered by the European Union (EU), but many countries in the EU don't use the euro, and some countries outside the EU do use it. The European Central Bank, the governing financial body of the Eurozone, is headquartered in Frankfurt, Germany. Germany, along with eleven other EU countries, became a founding member of the Eurozone in 1999.

Sunday, July 12, 2020

NAFTA Replaced With USMCA/CUSMA

CUSMA/USMCA replaces NAFTA as the new free trade area made up of Mexico, the US, and Canada. Map by Wikimedia user Heraldry (source; CC BY-SA)

NAFTA is No More

On July 1, the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) - a much-talked-about free trade area including Mexico, the United States, and Canada - was formally retired. The arrangement, in place since 1994, has been replaced by a similar deal, technically called the "Agreement Between the United States of America, the United Mexican States, and Canada". The change was agreed upon last year, but didn't take effect until this month.

USMCA or CUSMA?

The short name of the deal depends on who you ask. In the US, it's called the United States-Mexico-Canada Agreement (USMCA), but in Canada it's the Canada-United States-Mexico Agreement (CUSMA). In French (Canada's other official language) the acronym is ACEUM - also placing "Canada" first - and in Mexico it's known by the Spanish acronym T-MEC (placing "Mexico" first).

Saturday, June 6, 2020

The USA is Still a WHO Member

Update: The US government has now begun the one-year process of formally withdrawing from the WHO. It will remain a member until July 6, 2021, or longer if the process is canceled or not completed.

The World Health Organization includes almost every country in the world, coordinated by six different regional offices (public domain map; source).

Is the US leaving the WHO?

Last weekend US president Donald Trump made a statement that seemed to imply the country was withdrawing from membership in the World Health Organization (WHO).

Citing accusations that the body is overly influenced by China, the US president said "We will be today terminating our relationship with the World Health Organization".

Bu what exactly does that mean?

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)

Update: As far as can be determined, this map is still accurate as of August 2020, with no news on any deposits of ratification instruments since Mauritius. Angola, Cameroon, and Morocco are all reported to have ratified the AfCFTA treaty, but apparently haven't yet completed their membership by registering with African Union headquarters (the AU's official "status list" for the treaty hasn't been updated since October 2019, and recent reports still put the number of deposits at 28). 

In related news, the next stage of the trade area's implementation has been delayed to January 2021, but the organization's headquarters were inaugurated on August 17, 2020 in Accra, Ghana.

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.

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.