Open borders symbolize liberty and forward thinking for many Europeans – but they increasingly look like the continent’s Achilles’ heel.

Europe’s No. 1 terrorism suspect crossed at least two borders this week despite an international manhunt, and he was felled only by chance, in a random ID check in a Milan suburb. The bungled chase for Berlin market attack suspect Anis Amri is just one example of recent cross-border security failures that are emboldening nationalists fed up with European unity. Extremist violence, they argue, is too high a price to pay for the freedom to travel easily.

Defenders of the EU’s border-free zone say the security failures show the need for more cooperation among European governments, even shared militaries – not new barriers. Hidebound habits of hoarding intelligence within centuries-old borders are part of the problem, they contend.

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