A recent headline read “Dividing forces are mounting in Europe.”  A more charitable version might have said “Sovereignty Returning to European Countries” or “Self-Preservation on the Rise.”

“Until just a few weeks ago the European world seemed to be in order,” reports Handelsblatt.  “The freedom of travel [between E.U. countries] guaranteed by the Schengen Agreement was a functioning system and an enormously powerful symbol.”  And then something unexpected happened.  The Danish government decided to impose border checkpoints.  Danish officials realized that the free flow of people might not be such a good idea.  This bold and courageous move sits at the confluence of two recent events: the electoral success of the anti-immigration Danish People’s Party (upon whom the current government in Denmark relies for support) and the flooding of North Africans into Italy.

Thanks to the chaos spreading across North Africa (in part the result of the inflation of the U.S. dollar), a Camp of the Saints-style invasion of migrants from Libya, Tunisia, and sub-Saharan Africa has descended upon Italy.  In February, Italy declared an immigration emergency, as tens of thousands of migrants flooded its islands and coastal towns, sometimes outnumbering local inhabitants.  While p.c. elites welcomed such diversity, and globalists didn’t flinch from demanding that Italians welcome, appreciate, and support the invaders, most Italians and other Europeans were reading from a different script.

It immediately became apparent that these migrants would soon arrive in other European countries and, because of the Schengen Agreement (the Achilles’ heel of immigration enforcement in Europe; once immigrants enter one country they can freely move to another), there was little way of stopping them.  Both France and Italy lobbied the European Union for the temporary return of internal borders.  And then Denmark upped the ante and unilaterally imposed permanent border checkpoints.

E.U. bureaucrats have been less than enthusiastic.  They have threatened to take Denmark into European court, but Danish authorities maintain that their actions are in accordance with E.U. law.  “This deal stands,” said Peter Skaarup, vice president of the Danish People’s Party.  “We will make sure that the border controls will be reinstated as planned.  We can’t imagine that the government will be frightened by the [E.U.] commission. . . . So now the government will have to calm the commission down or cancel the Schengen agreement.”

If the Schengen Agreement begins to fall apart, so does the European Union, at least as we know it.  And the current mood across Europe seems to foreshadow such a collapse.  Anti-immigration parties have made sweeping electoral gains: The Danish People’s Party, Jobbik in Hungary, Swedish Democrats, Swiss People’s Party, and the True Finns.  Marine Le Pen is ahead of President Nicolas Sarkozy in opinion polls in France.  Even in Germany, which is often the most politically correct of European nations, Thilo Sarrazin’s new book critical of Third World immigration, Deutschland schafft sich ab, has become a national bestseller, prompting Chancellor Angela Merkel to declare multiculturalism a failure.  In recent polls, younger Europeans, perhaps lacking any guilt over World War II, harbor more anti-immigration sentiment than older generations—which is quite impressive considering that European youth have been bombarded with political correctness throughout most of their formative years.

Things might not be so grim in Europe after all.  In fact, we might be witnessing the initial fracturing of the liberal Zeitgeist of the last 60 years.  Sovereignty, self-preservation, and hope may be returning to European nations.