Between Germany and Switzerland, there's the German exclave Büsingen am Hochrhein. They have odd tax rules as Swiss VAT is applied.
You have to zoom in to fully appreciate it. It looks like a fractal.
India/Bangladesh - The world's worst border by Jay Foreman
This really frustrates me about Wikipedia because its like a totally parallel site and experience thats just right there and can even have conflicting information. Not helping the world as much as we think, but its so close to being able to.
It might not be obvious to English speaking visitors as I suppose they don't pay much attention to the list, but visitors who speak multiple languages often switch between them to get the most information.
That's the case, at least when not on the mobile site; apparently the mobile site instead show the "best" version at the top of the list of versions, but I don't know how it is determined.
There's a template saying “this article could be improved with translation from $other-language.”
I think your notification idea is good
It could look at number of sections, clusters of contributor activity, and then weigh that by character length with different weightings for each language
Germany introduced daylight saving time ("Sommerzeit") in 1980, but Switzerland only in 1981. In 1980, Büsingen used CET (like Switzerland), not the daylight saving time (like the rest of Germany). So, while there was only one summer season of deviation from Germany, Büsingen (pop. 1443) is listed separately in some time zone databases, eg the Common Locale Data Repository.
As so often, the devil is in the details.
I can give it a go, however my German skills aren't great.
A lot of Wikipedia is like this. The entries in different languages are not equivalents of each other.
That's the most interesting part to me. I cross the border every day to go to work. Yet, when a friend came to visit us and we we to the city, he couldn't believe that we were crossing a border that easily (France-Switzerland). It was literally an open fence with a sign welcoming you.
It's really awesome when you think about it
The War of American Independence was fought by use of voluntary contributions from the individual states, which were more or less sovereign. From around 1781, this arrangement functioned under a loose confederation with similar or lesser power to the modern EU; its constitution was called the Articles of Confederation.
It took until 1788/9 for the current Constitution to be adopted, after the Articles proved unable to cope with:
1. Payment of wartime debt, since the states' contributions to the federal budget were entirely voluntary.
2. Security threats, such as the looming British, or an unpaid veterans' (see point 1) rebellion in Massachusetts.
3. Foreign policy obligations, as the confederation couldn't enforce the terms of the 1783 peace treaty on the states.
It's controversial, but it doesn't nullify Schengen, because these countries are using provisions of the Schengen agreement to implement these border controls. See "When can countries re-impose border controls?" in this BBC article: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-13194723
But I guess what I meant by saying it "nullifies" Schengen is that it makes it redundant within its own bounds. i.e. pushing minor provisions of the agreement to the point that the motivation for creating Schengen is thwarted.
In order to argue that it's sensible, you have to first demonstrate a disimprovement in affairs warranting a change in policy, and secondly show a causal link between "outsiders" that your border control is targeting and those disimprovements.
Even if you could manage the former of those two (which I don't believe you could, though I might be mistaken), the latter is definitely not the case.
I only go to Malmö every 2-3 months, so at least for a while it may have been reasonable, given the aim of discovering refugees before they settle illegally somewhere.
> The 1918 flu pandemic spread so rapidly that, in general, there was no time to implement cordons sanitaires. However, to prevent an introduction of the infection, residents of Gunnison, Colorado isolated themselves from the surrounding area for two months at the end of 1918. All highways were barricaded near the county lines. Train conductors warned all passengers that if they stepped outside of the train in Gunnison, they would be arrested and quarantined for five days. As a result of this protective sequestration, no one died of influenza in Gunnison during the epidemic.
The sentiment that we are "all free people" may sound nice but is unfortunately a meaningless platitude bearing little resemblance to the real world. Sorry if that sounds unduly harsh
I already drew a parallel between towns and countries.
Remember, we're all free to visit or even move to a different town right now, and yet we don't have chaos.
With increased revenue from where, exactly?
What will you do when your neighbor country is stricken by communicable diseases? Will you still think that movement should be entirely restricted?
Under the Svalbard Treaty of 1920, Svalbard is under Norwegian sovereignty. It is also an entirely visa-free zone. Anyone can go there, including same-day visa-free transit at Oslo Airport en route there. If someone lives there for 7 years they can then get Norwegian citizenship.
People can be deported from Svalbard if they are unable to support themselves or commit a crime, which I think answers your migrant topic.
FWIW, the Sovereign Military Order of Malta has no territory, and hence no borders, but has widely recognized sovereignty.
And, the distinction would be between public places and private places. Anybody is free to exist in any public place with no permission required (just like you are already allowed to do once you're in the country).
It would all be exactly the same as it is now, except there are no checks at the border, and no visa requirements.
I think it's utopian to believe that this would lead to anything but slums and shanty towns. People with no wealth will all flock to areas with wealth, which won't have the infrastructure to support them. They'd camp out wherever they could with whatever they could - possibly right outside your house. Probably in your back yard actually - local law enforcement would be too overwhelmed to go around persecuting squatting or trespassing.
Travel to a large city in India to see what happens when free movement is coupled with massive inequality.
People will find a way to keep people they don't want near by away from them.
1. if any person on earth could sleep in their bed, would they want to?
2. if they do want to, what circumstance are they in that that's something they would want?
i.e. if everyone has their own bed, why take yours
Obviously I'm simplifying and referring to an impossible utopia here, but the sentiment stands regardless. The point is, once you're taking it that far, both sides are absurd.
However, in order to achieve this, certain prerequisites have to be met first. Opening borders has to be accompanied and indeed preceded by economic development.
The Schengen agreement for example only works because of the relatively similar economic situations of the member countries and even then it unfortunately has been a considerable cause for discord in recent years.
Let's say opening borders does have to to be accompanied by economic development: fine. How does that then not work when migration occurs from areas with different economic situations?
You seem to be proposing that migrants from economically areas necessarily depress a developed economy?
Or, to put it another way: what gives you the right to exist in a public place in the country you live in, but not a poorer person?
However, an argument can be made for the self-determination of groups as well, particularly their freedom of association (or lack thereof).
Then there are more pragmatic matters. You can't simply let people starve if they can't provide for themselves. Providing for everyone who chooses to stay at a place but can't actually afford to do so might just not be economically feasible.
Sure, over time these differentials will be evened out because people won't come to a place if it doesn't make economic sense to do so but simply opening all borders without taking possible consequences into account could lead to quite harsh outcomes.
If you don't apply the social safety net to the incoming immigrants, I don't see how you hold any higher moral ground than people who want controlled migration.
99% of them are not refugees,
99% of them are not Syrian,
most of them have fake IDs or no ID at all
Many of them are criminals or even terrorists
There's nothing paranoid about trying to impose basic security measures in such situation, such as a border control.
In 2015 - entire nations population swelled by double digits as irregular migrants swept through - for example, Hungary, Austria, Bulgaria etc. are only the size of a small American city.
So, can you imagine if 3 million migrants swept through Sand Diego? Or 30 million migrants swept through the Southern US? Would this be 'an issue of concern'? Of course it would - and that's the relative magnitude of disruption for some of these countries, particularly the tiny Balkan states which are quite poor - so much so that citizens of places like Albania are just as poor as the migrants sweeping through there.
In 2017, the migration issue is no longer Syrian, as the aggregate numbers have calmed, but there are still a considerable number of migrants arriving, mostly from Africa, via Italy. 
As for their 'qualification as refugees' - it's generally true that most don't qualify. It's hard to quantify precisely, but merely being from an African country does not immediately qualify one for status. Migrants from Eritrea (Africa), Afghanistan and Syria have special status and are generally processed differently, but again these groups (at least the later) are not so common.
And of course Schengen definitely allows for countries to put up border controls on an as needed basis, and the current migration calamity is a reasonable candidate for that need.
Just as some people are too ideological about hard borders, we shouldn't be so ideological about open borders either; 'Smart borders' ie more open where they make sense, but with practical flexibility I think are best suited.
As for Germany/Belgium and similar enclaves ... it only works when there is an economic and cultural equilibrium between nations - otherwise, it's just going to cause problems. A tiny hole in a border can create an existential challenge for nations, and massive humanitarian and legal headaches.
I should add that border checks go up and down for all sorts of reason, and this is not a new thing. I know that in the early 2000's I was stopped a long between France and Italy. I don't know what the issue then was, but it's not like it felt odd to have to waive to the Gendarmes while crossing an international border.
It's a big issue with existential and permanent consequences, so it has to be taken very seriously, with deliberation.
Technically at an EU level you don't need to have any ID to cross a Schengen border, but some countries have laws requiring visitors to carry ID at all times. (And of course you won't be let onboard a commercial flight without valid ID)
1. Except for the UK, Ireland and Denmark, EU countries issue identity cards which are valid for most situations where a passport is required, so long as nothing would be stamped: crossing borders within the EU, proving identity to the police .
2. Many European countries have rules requiring someone to be able to prove their identity, such as with their identity card or a passport. Those rules apply to visiting foreigners. Depending where they're from, they could comply with their national identity card, or with a passport.
So the answer is yes, except instead of a passport most people carry their credit-card sized identity card.
Since I'm British, and can't have an identity card, I'll often leave my passport in the hotel safe and carry a photocopy of the picture page. Particularly if I'm somewhere risky like a music festival or long hiking trip, where a passport could easily be lost, stolen or damaged by rain. I don't think I've ever had to show it.
It is not valid for international flights. It is unclear why, as it is designed to meet the ICAO standards for ID card sized travel documents. My best guess is that it is not valid for International aviation to avoid the problems with people trying to travel with it to places that need to be able to stamp a passport.
(It is pretty much the only such Federal Photo ID card available to the general public in the US.) Obviously the passport card differs from EU National ID cards, in that they are never required to be owned/carried domestically, and full blown passports are not needed
Not having a document of identity at all is grounds for a fine of up to 3000€, though if you travel from outside the EU you'll have your travel passport anyway.
Netherland and Portugal have a similar law.
Austria has a similar law but only for non-austrian persons in Austria.
When you cross borders, even in the EU, you should be prepared that you might get controlled/checked, it usually doesn't happen but it's good to be prepared.
Not having it heavily depends on the situation, there are some where you may end up being fined.
> If you are an EU national , you do not need to show your national ID card or passport when you are travelling from one border-free Schengen EU country to another.
This merely covers having to show your ID or passport for crossing the border, you're still beholden to the laws of the country you enter.
Even within most EU countries it is mandatory to have an ID card or drivers license on you if stopped by the police anyway, so the border doesn't make much of a difference.
Please tell me you have a source for that.
It seems to have been a singular occurrence where two migrants were deported unofficially by French officers.
Your phrasing made it sound like a regular occurrence of at least tens of migrants... But it is technically correct, I guess.
TBH it's not even the most high-profile case, the stuff at Ventimiglia (where France simply blocks most migrants) is pretty egregious too. The Brits do it as well in Calais, but at least they had the honesty of not signing the Schengen treaty to begin with.
I was once on the TGV from Paris to Switzerland and passport control consisted of the conductor coming into the car and asking if anyone wasn't allowed in Switzerland.
Before that, I don't know and can't find them at the moment. Before the 20th century border controls didn't really exist yet. In WW1 the situation was special because Belgium was under German occupation but the Netherlands were neutral, the Belgian enclaves were bits of free Belgium heavily used by the resistance. To prove their neutrality the Netherlands were forced to put a fence around it with strict controls.
It would be interesting to know how they were handled/managed in the meantime, did Belgium have the entire railway fenced off? I expect not, most land borders are not that hard, the east/west border was more the exception than the rule.
When I later moved back to the UK, I had a faint hope the UK would one day see sense and join Schengen as well, but I am pretty sure that boat has now sailed...
As to the bike path: that photo made my legs itch. Old train tracks are an excellent resource for bike paths, at least for recreational riding. They are flat, because trains are unable to climb anything more than 2% or so. Plus no cars, perfect width, and (because they are established rather recently) often perfectly smooth pavement.
I’ve done a thousand km or so in both Spain, and across the alps. It’s almost as breathtaking as crossing the mountain passes, if you allow me to mix the literal and figurative meaning of the word.
I ran some of this via verde a few years ago on a very hot and dusty day. I finished at old Olvera station which has a bar serving very cold beer served in a frozen glass - heaven. The white hill-town of Olvera itself is also worth a visit:
* Library in Vermont and Quebec straddling the border: https://www.atlasobscura.com/articles/the-us-canada-border-r...
* Canadian train that crosses northern Maine and used to have U.S. border guards board it (can't find the resource, but I saw this on TV show some years ago)
* Thousand Islands border between Ontario and NY State, which can be easily swum in the summer and freezes over in the winter (https://www.cbp.gov/frontline/frontline-april-thousand-islan...)
* Akwesasne Mohawk reservation further east that straddles the NY/Ontario/Quebec border but tribal members do not recognize (https://www.npr.org/2017/10/28/560436303/at-u-s-canada-borde...)
* Northwest Angle attached to Manitoba, but technically part of Minnesota: https://www.minnpost.com/mnopedia/2014/02/story-behind-minne...
Part of the less than 1 km land border between Ontario and the US, the other 2700km being water.
Another odd occurence I only learned about recently in the area around here are the American Military Cemeteries in Belgium and the Netherlands which are administered by the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC). Visiting one feels like being on a patch of US soil in the middle of the Belgian countryside (signs, road-markings, the way the gardens are kept, etc), quite surreal: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Henri-Chapelle_American_Cemete...
Borders are necessary because of power-hungry politicians: without borders, entire levels of governments would become unnecessary. This is why we hear so much about "patriotism" these days.
Cultures? People on one both sides of the border generally have different culture and hierarchies of values. Thanks to borders, every nation gets to organize their piece of earth as they see fit (at least in democracies).
And my point is that the idea of "their piece of earth" is outdated. Apart from silliness and unnecessary politicians it leads to real problems, like countries deciding that they will burn oil and coal on "their piece of earth" and not care about climate catastrophe at all.
Same e.g. for combatting tax evasion. Many other areas do not strictly require transnational collaboration, but it's immensely helpful. For example, the power network in Europe is incredibly resilient because it is shared across dozens of countries. So every individual failure is rather small, even if it takes a large nuclear power plant offline.
I love how these sort of bureaucratic things are so simple in the EU. For the rest of us, it is much more complex, and for most of us living in a country we like is a dream that can hardly be achieved. Nearly all my childhood friends living back home are trying to escape their country but it's not that easy (you need to find a job that accepts H1B for US, or equivalent bureaucratic mambo jambo for the EU).
Also note how many of your problems are exceptional. Few countries raise taxes from money that never enters or leaves their country, and military service requirements are often paused while you are abroad. You have it harder than most.
I really do believe that we have way too many governments, and borders are an artificial construct used to support politicians.
Personally I like that the world has both types of governments. It provides, to some extent anyways, redundancy against the failures of each type of government.
On top of that then come all sorts of historic, cultural, ... reasons to "protect" each other which have all complex reasoning. Power-hungry politicians are only a quite limited reasoning, as many borders are supported by societies (by far not all, though)