Topic: migration

» Headlines

A Threat against Europe? Security, Migration, Integration, with Serge Gutwirth (eds.) Brussels: VUB Press.

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» Notes on European political culture




Universal exceptionalism

Exceptionalism is the new word of order in European migration policy.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy and Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi met on 26 April to propose a fundamental reform of the Schengen border-free area: a national exception to a hard-won European accomplishment: The Schengen Area. The Area, which permits visa-free circulation accross internal borders is second only to the introduction of the euro itself among Europe’s most profound political accomplishments.

Two weeks earlier France had threatened to close its internal border to Italy as a consequence of Italy’s decision, judged by most observers to be self-evident, to grant Tunisian boat-migrants asylum-seeker status in Europe.

As a response to the French-Italian shoving-match, the Commission published a politically deft communication setting out the option of member-state level border measures ‘as a last resort in truly critical situations, until other (emergency) measures have been taken to stabilise the situation at the relevant external border section either at European level, in a spirit of solidarity, and/or at national level, to better comply with the common rules.’ It was debated hotly in plenum in the Parliament last week.

(The Schengen arrangement actually already contains loopholes for extraordinary border-closing measures, designed as a response to football hooliganism.)

Now Denmark has joined the re-natioanlizing bandwagon, suggesting that it will strengthen its own national customs controls and at the same time taking a strong position against further expansion of the Schengen Area. In a memo published yesterday, Home Affairs Commissioner Malmström encouraged restraint. [ More… ]

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Club Europa in Lampedusa

A completely unique conjuncture of events has brought a new wave of undocumented migration to Europe and with it a new wave of principled challenges to European responses to it.

There is widespread awareness in Europe and elsewhere of the tidal change set off by the Jasmine Revolution in Tunisia. Now overshadowed by hyper-mediatized events in Egypt, the ousting of Tunisia’s longstanding president Zine el Abidine Ben Ali on January 14 was in some ways more decisive and dramatic than events in Egypt, though less networked. It is however Egypt, long-time ally of the United States, neighbor to Israel, perhaps the closest we can find to an Arab super-power, stole the show with its facebook ousting of Hosni Mubarak.

Yet while the mass manifestations of democratic aspirations in Egypt lead Euro-Americans to wipe a tear of self-affirmation, the democratic aspirations of Tunisians has quickly morphed into a security threat to Europe. Built on lofty principles, the European Union talks the talk, and is once again called upon to walk the walk of migrant and human rights. [ More… ]

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Happy Birthday FRONTEX!

This week here in Warsaw, FRONTEX, the European Agency for the Management of Operational Cooperation at the External Borders of the Member States of the European Union, celebrates its 5th birthday with a series of high-visibility conferences and events.

The events revolve around the solemn proclamation of today, 25 May, as the European Day for Border Guards. The day’s star-studded program includes no less than Alfredo Perez Rubalcaba, Interior Minister of Spain, Cecilia Malmström, Commission for Home Affairs, Juan Lopez Aguilar, Chairman of the Committe on Civil Liberties, Justice and Home Affairs, Ilkka Laitinen, Executive Director of Frontex and Baroness Catherine Ashton, High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy. [ More… ]

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» Research - current projects

Converging and conflicting ethical values in the internal/external security continuum in Europe (INEX)
European Commission, 7th Framework Programme (2008-2011).
Project home page

» Talks - academic presentations

Notes on Elspeth Guild, Understanding security and migration in the twenty-first century
CEPS, 21 October 2009.

» Publications - articles & chapters

There is no European security, only European securities, Cooperation and conflict 44(3): 309-328.

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