The Militarization of EU Borders

The Greek case study within the European context

Political discourse in Europe on migration revolves around exclusionary policies, the targeting of “others”, of refugees and migrants and of anyone that is different, creating a disproportionate impact on these populations. The failures in implementing EU law and policy in the area of irregular migration, and making it effective and respectful of human rights, reveal a crisis of solidarity. Migration has proved a contentious issue for the EU, which has not been able to agree on a common migration policy in a period in which nationalism is on the rise. Although it has been proved historically that people flee from countries of persecution despite the absence of legal and safe pathways, Europe’s migration policy remains focused on keeping Europe’s borders closed. This analysis summarizes the political and legislative developments with a focus on the EU policy framework, which has gradually resulted in the “normalization” and “legalization” of human rights violations – including pushbacks and collective expulsions – the criminalization of human rights defenders and NGOs working in the field, and European Court of Human Rights decisions that create concerns about the future of cases brought before it.

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