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.
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.
The Permanent Peoples Tribunal (PPT) holds a special session to address Europe's policies on migrants and refugees. Fortress Europe has led to many disappeared persons and the death of thousands during their journey to reach the borders of southern and eastern Europe.
While border militarisation has been disastrous for refugees, it also has its winners. Most notably, it has provided a booming business for the defense, security and IT industries in a market that is growing at roughly 8% a year.
The European Union’s investment in border security measures boomed in 2016, a new report reveals, with prominent arms and security firms being the main beneficiaries. The militarisation of EU’s borders has however come at a terrible human cost, with the highest ever recorded yearly death toll of over 4700 known deaths in the Mediterranean sea, as refugees are forced to resort to ever more dangerous routes to enter Europe.
The official discourse on migration has sought to criminalise migrant and refugee communities, ignoring the root causes of migration and the rights of communities; the Peoples' Global Action on Migration offers an alternative approach based on human rights and inter-cultural dialogue.