Over a third of European countries belonging to the Schengen zone imposed at least temporary border checks in 2015, threatening to undermine one of the main accomplishments of European integration – free movement. In Geopolitical Futures’ annual forecast for 2016, we wrote that this will be a year of significant fragmentation for the European Union. Europe will become a quilt of open borders, conditionally open borders and tightly controlled borders.
Today, Europe took another step intensifying the continent’s fragmentation. Sweden began implementing border checks for travelers arriving from Denmark, a transit point for refugees heading to Sweden. Sweden is a highly popular destination for refugees: in 2015, 163,000 people sought asylum in Sweden, according to official statistics. In response, Denmark, fearing a spike in asylum application due to Sweden’s new restrictions, introduced border checks on its border with Germany earlier today. These moves come a week after Norway announ