'European Union states have built over 1,000km of border walls since the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, a new study into Fortress Europe has found.
Migration researchers have quantified the continent’s anti-immigrant infrastructure and found that the EU has gone from just two walls in the 1990s to 15 by 2017.
Ten out of 28 member states stretching from Spain to Latvia have now built such border walls, with a sharp increase during the 2015 migration panic, when seven new barriers were erected.
Despite celebrations this year that the Berlin Wall had now been down for longer than it was ever up, Europe has now completed the equivalent length of six Berlin walls during the same period. The barriers are mostly focused on keeping out undocumented migrants and would-be refugees.
The erection of the barriers has also coincided with the rise of xenophobic parties across the continent, with 10 out of 28 seeing such parties win more than half a million votes in elections since 2010.
“Europe’s own history shows that building walls to resolve political or social issues comes at an unacceptable cost for liberty and human rights,” Nick Buxton, researcher at the Transnational Institute and editor of the report said.
“Ultimately it will also harm those who build them as it creates a fortress that no one wants to live in. Rather than building walls, Europe should be investing in stopping the wars and poverty that fuels migration.”'
Read more: The EU has built 1,000km of border walls since fall of Berlin Wall
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