The Rise of Europe

Two stories, two maps.


To the Borders of Russia

The first: the European visa-free zone increased, incorporating many of the new EU members. Germany and Austria no longer have guarded frontiers, formerly having checkpoints on the Polish, Czech, Slovak, Hungarian, and Slovene borders. Russia now borders the four members of the visa-free zone: Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, and Poland (in addition to Finland and Norway).


Europe and the West Balkans

The second is the continued dismemberment of the Russian client state, Serbia, at the hands of Brussells (and Washington, and Berlin, and…). When Kosovo declares independence, which is already a few months overdue, Serbia will find itself surrounded by eight countries — three of whom are already in the EU, another (Croatia) which will probably be the next EU member, and the rest looking for eventual EU integration.

Relatedly: Vladimir Putin, who has been invaluable in accelerating Europe’s rise, is Time‘s Man of the Year.