A lighter shade of grey

OVER the past few millennia the Black Sea port of Constanta has faced many invaders and occupiers. But the Romans, Avars and Ottomans did not have to contend with theStefan cel Mare, a border-patrol vessel equipped with surveillance radar, thermal-imaging cameras and a turret gun. On the bridge Catalin Paraschiv, the cheerful skipper, proudly shows off his craft as the sea ice melts outside.

The Stefan cel Mare was built with European Union funding to help Romania meet the requirements for Schengen, the EU’s passport-free travel zone. Some of the vessel’s 19-man crew travelled to the Netherlands to receive specialist training from Damen, the Dutch firm that designed its specifications. But the Dutch government has proved less helpful to the Schengen ambitions of Romania, as well as those of Bulgaria, its southern neighbour.

read the rest of the article (economist.com)

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