The importance of open borders is the latest publication by the European Liberal Forum and Svenska Bildningsförbundet, edited by Ted Urho. Five experts tell the story of how the labour markets of Sweden, Finland, Estonia, Poland and Austria were affected. Five European policymakers make the case for why society needs open borders to thrive.

The testimonials below are part of a documentary video project for people working on the borders of the EU. They reflect how the Covid-19 pandemic and the closing of borders impacted their lives.


Volha is a Belarusian artist who has lived in Wrocław, Poland for three years. When the borders closed and her work contract wasn’t extended she had to choose between staying or going back to Belarus for good. This is Volha’s story. 

Arsan & Lyudmila: 

Lyudmila had just landed her dream job at a new restaurant in Warsaw when the pandemic hit and the borders were closed. At the same time, her mother in Ukraine got seriously ill. She, and her friend Arsen, had to choose whether to stay in Poland or go back to Ukraine in a situation where nobody knew when travel would be allowed again. This is the story of Ukrainian Lyudmila and her friend Arsan. 


Michał Cessanis is a travel journalist who got stuck at home in Warsaw, Poland when the borders closed. The closed borders didn’t stop COVID-19 from entering Poland, though, and Michał was infected. 

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