Dado alters a sign in Thessaloniki. Read More
As Croatia seeks accession into the European Union, it must first go through a rigorous process that involves adopting EU immigration policies. The Schengen Agreement, first signed by Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, and the Netherlands in 1985, creates a common external border amongst participating EU member states. It has since become integrated into the legal architecture of the EU, and has become part of the so-called acquiscommunitaire requiring future candidates for EU membership to meet the Schengen criteria and adopt European immigration, visa, and border policies as a condition of admission.
Euskirchen et al (2007) suggest this agreement creates a perpetual border control society of Europe. The national borderline is both widened and extended back into national territory and projected out into the territory of foreign states. Public transportation, the workplace, and airport terminals all become sites of border control. Thus, rather than imagine Europe as a fortress, we might better understand it as a borderland.
Through the context of the nation-state, citizenship (through efforts such as the Schengen Agreement) becomes a means by which the state may exclude entry to non-citizens rather than solidify the rights of equals to participate in the public sphere. If the nation is imagined as a sovereign, territorially bound homogeneous collective, control of the citizenry acts a homogenizing project as well as a means of solidifying the territorial claims of the collective.
Zagreb anarchists challenge these nationalist and Eurocentric sentiments as they imagine a world in which all people are free to move where they want, when they want without concern for national borders and state citizenship. For more about anarchist action against the state and the EU, watch Down with Fortress Europe.