Border guards checking the cars
The Economist’s recent report from the Polish-Ukrainian border reveals many of the usual misunderstandings that continue to hinder better border policy. The report is littered with basic factual errors, which suggest an understanding gained briefly in passing and then interpreted from a distance rather than a deep engagement with some serious issues. It is important to first correct these errors and then look at the new understandings that these corrections encourage.
The report, on the Eastern Approaches blog, states that the pedestrian section of the border crossing (unique on this border) is a recent addition. Even a basic reading of their own piece, which refers to the happening “smuggling” staged by the excellent REP group of artivists, would have shown that the pedestrian crossing has been open for at least five years. While this may not be a significant amount of time in the entire history of this historic (and historically shifting and contested) border, it certainly is when considering current border arrangements in the context of Poland’s membership of the EU and the Schengen Area.