Image: Stefan Dimitrov/www.sueddeutsche.de
"What we are seeing in 2015 is Europe’s reverse 1989. Remember that the physical demolition of the iron curtain started with the cutting of the barbed wire fence between Hungary and Austria. Now it is Hungary that has led the way in building new fences." Timothy Garton Ash in Guardian(29/11/2015)
The Informal meeting of the EU interior ministers has placed a large question mark over the future of Europe’s passport-free travel zone this Monday, signalling an extension of national border controls within the 26-country Schengen area in response to the immigration crisis.
Instead of free borders regime, Europe is desperately closing, building new fences to enable control, to reduce the refugee flow and restrict illegal immigration.
Hungary started with a fence, and despite we were all outraged how something like this can happen in 2015, it didn't take long that more countries followed with razor wired fence. Including the small pocket transit country where Europe ends and Balkan starts - Slovenia.
Many things are going wrong right now on the sunny side of Alps and the last thing Slovenia would need is the outdoor burden of the refugee crisis.
Will the fence help to tackle the biggest challenge of the EU?
Will we be safer?
The razor wire fence is a symbol of something we should all be afraid of.
We, the people of Europe, know that. We've been there, done that and regretted it. The most important achievement after the end of the world war 2 was the moment when we put the fences away.
Never again, we thought.
Europe without borders and walls and fences was a reality that we almost took for granted...
But the year 2015 changed everything.
And here we go again.
We have razor fences as border barriers. To ensure the security and establish control on the border. No illegal immigration, no external threats and better internal security. I do agree we have to approach proactively and we need to establish some control.
Not because we should be afraid of them, but because we are loosing the trust in ourselves.
And even this kind of fences can be removed easily, the walls in our heads will stay.
This crisis has opened the Pandora's box. National right parties are winning on support, hate and fear are spreading like an early winter fog. We are facing a complete disorder of beliefs, radical feminists sound more like conservatives when it comes to the refugees and the left and middle political pool in politically correct manner doesn't know exactly what to do. What happened after Cologne was a very good example of this.
In the meanwhile refugees are still trying to cross the sea and many stay there for ever. The rough and cold Balkan route is becoming a paradise for smugglers and human traffic. The Jungle in Calais will no longer be the only one.
Fences do make a difference. Whenever and wherever these barriers have been built, the humanity has been lost. The fence, that marked one's territory, gave the right to use force against those who tried to cross it. Illegal crossing, legal use of force.
You know who Günter Litfin was? A 24-year-old tailor from East Berlin that has been shot dead on illegal run to the freedom in 1961. As we know, he was the first, but not the only Berlin wall victim.
I am not saying it is the same case today. But the razor fence in Slovenia (and elsewhere) makes even me nervous, and I am not directly exposed to the urge to cross it illegally. Or even worse, to be in the position to defend it with a weapon.
I am concerned. And convinced that the fence can not be a solution, and it is more likely, that it will become a part of the problem.
Many people are still on the way and if we take a look at the situation in their home countries, they will keep coming.
No matter what kind of barriers they will have to pass.