Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Europe Border Woes

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Europe Border Woes

Article excerpt

Recent news reports have told us about the terrible Islamic State group attacks in Brussels and how the same cell of Belgian terrorists are known to have been involved in the previous attacks in Paris. For some Americans it may be difficult to understand the geographic distance involved between these two European cities that are in two different countries.

To understand Europe and how vulnerable it is we need to look at a few simple facts, including the Schengen Agreement. This 1985 treaty led to creation of the borderless Schengen area. Originally, five of the 10 member states of the then European Economic Community, including Belgium and France, signed the agreement. Now, 26 countries are part of the Schengen area.

So, when traveling between Belgium and another Schengen country, a person does not have to go through routine immigration and customs checks. …

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