Thirty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, Europe is once again known for its border walls. This time Europe is divided not so much by ideology as by perceived fear of refugees and migrants, some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
Trente ans après la chute du mur de Berlin, l’Europe est de nouveau célèbre pour les murs qu’elle érige à ses frontières. Cette fois, ce n’est pas tant l’idéologie qui la divise, mais la peur des réfugiés et des migrants, qui font pourtant partie des personnes les plus vulnérables au monde.
Member states of the European Union and Schengen Area have constructed almost 1000 km of walls, the equivalent of more than six times the total length of the Berlin Walls, since the nineties to prevent displaced people migrating into Europe. These physical walls are accompanied by even longer ‘maritime walls’, naval operations patrolling the Mediterranean, as well as ‘virtual walls’, border control systems that seek to stop people entering or even traveling within Europe, and control movement of population.
Yasha Maccanico, Ben Hayes, Samuel Kenny, Frank Barat
06 November 2018
Europe’s “refugee crisis” triggered a wave of solidarity actions by both civil society organisations and ordinary citizens. Their efforts were part of a wave of compassion, as people organised convoys to refugee reception centers, warmly greeted arrivals at train stations and lined highways to provide food and water to those making the journey from Syria and elsewhere. Just a few years later those same activists are treated as criminals and humanitarian search and rescue missions are criminalised.
La “crisi dei rifugiati” europea (come viene definita da molti osservatori, tralasciando il fatto che si tratta in realtà di una Crisi dell’Europa come progetto politico), simbolizzata dall’immagine di Alan Kurdi, il bambino siriano di tre annitrascinato dal mare sulle spiagge turche, ha innescato un’ondata di solidarietà e azioni di disobbedienza civile sia da parte delle organizzazioni della società civile che da parte dei normali cittadini. Tutti questi sforzi facevano parte di un’ondata di compassione che ha visto l’organizzazione di convogli per recarsi nei centri di accoglienza per rifugiati, calorosi benvenuti presso stazioni ferroviarie tedesche e file in strada per offrire cibo e acqua a chi percorreva l’arduo cammino partendo da zone devastate dalla guerra in Siria e in altre parti del mondo.
In austerity-stricken Europe, increasing funds are flowing to arms and security firms positioning themselves as experts on border control. Researcher Mark Akkerman documents the companies profiting from E.U. border externalization and the industry’s lobbying power.
Where would you mark Europe's border? Would it include Bangladesh? This video introduces the EU's policy of border externalisation and why it should concern all those who care about democracy, human rights and development.
The EU has made migration control a central goal of its foreign relations, rapidly expanding border externalisation measures that require neighbouring countries to act as Europe's border guards. This report examines 35 countries, prioritised by the EU, and finds authoritarian regimes emboldened to repress civil society, vulnerable refugees forced to turn to more dangerous and deadly routes, and European arms and security firms booming off the surge in funding for border security systems and technologies.
Nikolai Huke, David Bailey, Mònica Clua-Losada, Julia Lux, Olatz Ribera Almandoz
02 May 2018
EU institutions and governments responded to the Eurozone crisis with a combination of austerity and authoritarianism that increased precarity and eroded liberal democracy. However, a survey of social movements shows that this technocratic depoliticization was only partially successful as the increasing exclusion of people from democratic decision-making also sparked novel forms of organizing that have opened up potential avenues for radical social change.
Pia Eberhardt describes how corporate lobbies and think tanks have gone on what appears to be a concerted attack against NGOs and other groups opposing new free trade and investment deals, and Corporate Europe Observatory's report Blaming the Messenger
As the EU starts to negotiate new budgets from 2020 onwards, there is an important opportunity to shape EU security policy and research so that it prioritises human rights, democracy, transparency and equality.
Despite the economic crisis, EU funding for new security tools and technologies will double in the 2014-20 period compared to the previous 6 years. The biggest winners have been the “homeland security” industry whose influence on European policy continues to grow, constructing an ever more militarised and security-focused Europe.
This briefing updates the July 2016 report ‘Border Wars: the arms dealers profiting from Europe’s refugee tragedy’ . It shows that the European policy response to the refugee tragedy continues to provide a booming border security market for Europe’s arms and security firms, some of whom are involved in selling arms to the Middle East and North Africa and all of whom encourage European policies focused on keeping refugees out. It’s a win-win for the security corporations, but the cost is a deadly toll for migrants forced into ever more dangerous routes as they flee wars, conflict and oppression.