Image: A old customs post at the border between Belgium and France in Alveringem

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Abandoned Border Posts Show Signs of Neglect

Former border posts built before the European Union's passport-free area lie in various states of repair.

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Image: A old customs post at the border between Belgium and France in Alveringem

An old customs post at the border between Belgium and France in Alveringem on March 21. 

Border checkpoints began to close after the Schengen Agreement was signed more than 30 years ago. The agreement's goal was to eliminate internal border controls and was seen as a major achievement of European integration that has facilitated travel, tourism, trade and supply chains across the bloc, fueling economic growth.

PHOTOS: Migrants Brave River in Search for New Route to Europe

 

FRANCOIS LENOIR / Reuters
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Image: The old border checkpoint at the French-Italian border in Menton, France

The checkpoint at the French-Italian border in Menton, France remains unattended on Jan 29.

 

European nations are struggling to save the 26-nation open-border zone from frontier closures prompted by uncontrolled movements of migrants fleeing war and poverty in the Middle East, South Asia and Africa.

ERIC GAILLARD / Reuters
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Image: A broken window at the border crossing between Austria and Hungary near Rattersdorf

A broken window at the border crossing between Austria and Hungary near Rattersdorf, Austria on March 8.

The official EU response to the biggest migration wave since the aftermath of World War Two is for member states to share the burden of providing shelter for people, especially Syrians, fleeing war or persecution, while securing the bloc's external borders. However, most members have failed to take their agreed quotas of refugees and nearly a dozen countries have built barriers to try to keep both migrants and refugees out.

 

 

LEONHARD FOEGER / Reuters
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Image: The Valenca customs border in Portugal

The Valenca customs border in Portugal on March 14. 

MIGUEL VIDAL / Reuters
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Image: A old customs post along a river at the border between Belgium and France in Leers-Nord

An old customs post along a river at the border between Belgium and France in Leers-Nord, on March 21.

FRANCOIS LENOIR / Reuters
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Image:A former border post on the French-German border has been repurposed as a tourist information office

A former border post between Scheibenhard, France and Scheibenhardt, Germany has been re-purposed as a tourist information office.

VINCENT KESSLER / Reuters
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Image: An abandoned border check point is at the French-Italian border in Breil-Sur-Roya, France

An abandoned border checkpoint on the French-Italian border in Breil-Sur-Roya, France, on Jan. 29. 

 

The European Union began implementing a controversial deal which could see Turkey take back migrants that had made it to Europe from its shores. In exchange, the EU agreed to settle thousands of Syrians already in Turkey — one for each Syrian Turkey takes back from the Greek Islands.

ERIC GAILLARD / Reuters
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Image: The border crossing between Austria and Hungary near Rattersdorf, Austria

The border crossing between Austria and Hungary near Rattersdorf, Austria, on March 8.

LEONHARD FOEGER / Reuters
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Image:The border crossing between Austria and Hungary near Deutschkreuz, Austria

The border crossing between Austria and Hungary near Deutschkreuz, Austria on March 8. 

LEONHARD FOEGER / Reuters
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Image: An abandoned border checkpoint at the French-Italian border in Valico di Fanghetto, Italy

An abandoned border checkpoint at the French-Italian border in Valico di Fanghetto, Italy on Jan. 29.

ERIC GAILLARD / Reuters
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Image: The border crossing between Austria and Hungary near Nickelsdorf, Austria

The border crossing between Austria and Hungary near Nickelsdorf, Austria on March 7.

LEONHARD FOEGER / Reuters
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Image: A closed and abandoned border checkpoint at the French-Italian border in Olivetta

A closed and abandoned border checkpoint at the French-Italian border in Olivetta, Italy on Jan. 29.

ERIC GAILLARD / Reuters
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