Economic Effects of Schengen Borders

“Putting up barriers,” from the Economist:

LONG lines of lorries once blotted the chocolate-box alpine landscape of the Brenner Pass, an important road link between southern and northern Europe. The Schengen agreement, which came into effect in 1995 and has now abolished border controls between 26 European countries, kept those lorries moving. But where trucks go, so do refugees. To stem the flow Austria, Denmark, France, Germany, Norway and Sweden have temporarily reintroduced controls. Others have increased spot checks in border regions.

Open borders ease the flow of exports as well as individuals. Every year people make 1.3 billion crossings of the EU’s internal borders along with 57m trucks carrying €2.8 trillion ($3.7 trillion) of goods. As well as speeding the passage of Greek olives and German dishwashers, borderless travel allows hotels in the east of Germany to have their sheets cleaned in Poland, where wages are lower, and workers in Italy to commute to Switzerland (also in Schengen though not in the EU), where wages are higher…

 

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