The 1999 Treaty of Amsterdam states that the European Union is to be an area of freedom, security, and justice. Establishing this freedom within the European Union confronts the EU with the problem of its external borders and the need to safeguard them. Indeed, Europe’s emergent border regime with ever stricter visa policies, tighter border controls, the border agency Frontex and the (partial) externalisation of responsibilities to Morocco or Libya have earned the EU the ungainly title “Fortress Europe”.
Yet even though the harmonisation of immigration, asylum and refugee policies was an explicit aim of the Amsterdam Treaty already ten years ago, a coherent and legitimate European approach to migration is still wanting, not to speak of the appalling state of the protection of the migrants’ human rights. On the contrary, fragmentation and bilateral agreements are proliferating, the recent agreement between Italy and Libya being a prominent case in point. The majority of migrants heading towards Europe use regular routes. But with ever increasing legal restrictions also more and more people try to get into Europe irregularly.
The articles in this dossier shed critical light on several related sites of Euro-Mediterranean border management. They look at the “border within” as well as the effects of the exterritorialisation strategy in the Libyan example. They show both the deadly and the “productive” aspects of the border regime. And they analyse the rationale and impacts of such measures as the mobility partnerships between EU and African states or new attempts of cooperation in the Central Mediterranean.
- Realities & Responses
- Policies & Impacts
- Critical Perspectives