Europe's borders: Shengen

From Greece, Harry Papasotiriou writes: Randy Black's description of his travels across Western European national boundaries with no restrictions or border hassles is indicative of what Western Europe has achieved in recent times.  Apparently, it was the same in the 19th century.  The age of the two world wars intervened, but at long last Europe, or at least its Western portion, is reverting to a level of common civilization, in which we can travel across national borders without undue official interference.  Travelling to Russia remains an altogether different matter.  I was just invited to give a presentation at a conference in Moscow, co-funded by NATO.  To attend, I need to give my passport and other information, so that the conference organisers can obtain the document of approval of the Russian Foreign Ministry, which I must then take to the Russian consulate in Athens in order to apply for a visa.  How dreadfully complicated!  I recently travelled to the United States for a university presentation, and it was much, much easier, even in those post-9/11 days of heightened security.  While I am strongly in favor of the wonderful ease of travel within Western Europe, I firmly support strong trans-European security measures targeting international terrorism and crime.  I am convinced that such problems can best be dealt with through close coopertion among national counter-terrorisms and law enforcement agencies, rather than strictly at the national level.

Ronald Hilton 2004


last updated: February 27, 2005