January 4, 2013 7:35 pm

Europe’s disappearing borders

Political and economic agreements have brought borders down across the continent

Since the signing of the Schengen Agreements in 1985, the borders of most of the European continent have been erased little by little from the landscape and from people’s imagination. The agreements are a giant leap in the progressive unification of Europe and the emergence of a European consciousness. Today, with 26 countries belonging to the Schengen Area, 16,500km of borders can be freely crossed. The award of the Nobel Peace Prize to the European Union has ratified the historical importance of this almost imperceptible but radical change in Europe.

Since 2007, with the help of a GPS navigation device and detailed maps, I have conducted eight trips along these erased borderlines. I calculated that I crossed the borders more than a thousand times without having to show my papers.

Even if these pictures have been taken thousands of kilometres apart, they all provide an image that is far from the stereotype we tend to associate with the notion of a border.

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