• The automated Fortress Europe : No place for human rights

    29,000 people have died in the Mediterranean over the past ten years while trying to reach the EU. You would think that the EU wanted this tragedy to stop and scientists across Europe were working feverishly on making this happen with the latest technology. The opposite is the case: With the help of so-called Artificial Intelligence, digital border walls are being raised, financed with taxpayers’ money.

    Drones, satellites, and other digital monitoring systems: For decades, the EU’s external borders have been upgraded with state-of-the-art surveillance technology to create so-called smart borders. Now, algorithms and Artificial Intelligence are increasingly adding to the wall.

    Their development is funded with millions of euros by EU research programs with names like Horizon 2020 or Horizon Europe. The funded projects read like a catalog of surveillance technologies. Instead of trying to save people from losing their lives, they put all of us in danger.

    It doesn’t come as a surprise that most initiatives are kept secret. The public learns next to nothing about them. Law enforcement and border authorities prefer not to be bothered with giving insights into their work. They try to avoid a democratic debate about the research and development of this sort of AI-driven surveillance technology.

    When we asked for information on research projects in which such systems are being developed, we received many responses that wouldn’t give us any substantial information.

    The European Research Executive Agency (REA) is mandated by the EU Commission to fund and manage innovative projects in virtually all areas of research, including Horizon 2020. Still, the REA isn’t particularly outspoken about their research projects.

    We had tried, for example, to obtain details about the ROBORDER project‘s “methodology applied for the evaluation of the system performance” through access to information requests. At first, we were denied it in reference to the “protection of the public interest as regards public security.” The identity and affiliation of individuals involved in the ethics review process would also not be shared, to protect their “privacy and integrity.” REA also cited “commercial interests” and the protection of intellectual property as lawful grounds to refuse disclosure: “releasing this information into public domain would give the competitors of the consortium an unfair advantage, as the competitors would be able to use this sensitive commercial information in their favour.” These reasons given to us to avoid disclosure were common reactions to all the requests we sent out. But in the end, REA did provide us with information on the methodology.

    More transparency is urgently needed. ROBORDER aims at developing unmanned vehicles to patrol EU borders, capable of operating in swarms. Such capabilities would most likely be of interest to the military as well. In fact, research by AlgorithmWatch and ZDF Magazin Royale shows that in a market analysis conducted within the ROBORDER project, “military units” have been identified as potential users of the system. Documents we obtained show that members of the research team met with prospective officers of the Greek Navy to introduce the ROBORDER system.

    Military applications would exclude ROBORDER from Horizon 2020 funding, which is reserved for civilian applications. However, an EU Commission’s spokesperson said that the mere fact that a “military audience” was also chosen to disseminate the project does not “per se call into question the exclusively civilian application of the activities carried out within the framework of this project.”

    The ROBORDER project was executed as planned until its scheduled end in 2021. Its output contributed to later projects. At a national level, one is REACTION, which is funded by the EU’s Border Management and Visa Instrument and coordinated by the Greek Ministry of Immigration and Asylum. AlgorithmWatch and ZDF Magazin Royale tried to ask the Greek research center CERTH – which coordinated ROBORDER and is now working on REACTION – what results or components exactly were adopted, but we didn’t get an answer.

    Due to our persistence, we managed to obtain documents for various EU-funded projects. Some of them we received were so heavily redacted that it was impossible to get an idea what they were about. The grant agreement and the annexes to the NESTOR project contained 169 consecutive redacted pages.

    An automated Fortress Europe would also impact everyone’s rights, since the technology it facilitates allows governments to find out everything about us.

    How do they do it, you ask? By using face recognition, for example, and by reducing your identity to your face and other measurable biometric features. Faces can be captured and analyzed by increasingly sophisticated biometric recognition systems. In the D4FLY project, they combine “2D+thermal facial, 3D facial, iris and somatotype biometrics.” In projects such as iBorderCtrl, they examine emotions and “micro-expressions,” fleeting facial expressions that last only fractions of a second, to assess whether travelers are lying to (virtual) border officials. That way, risk assessments are automatically created, which could lead to stricter security checks at EU borders.

    Such EU-funded projects are designed to digitalize, computerize, and automate human mobility. The EU envisions a future where law-abiding travelers enjoy uninterrupted freedom, while “risky” people are automatically flagged for further checks.

    As Frontex’ deputy executive director, Uku Särekanno, put it in a recent interview: „What comes next is a very serious discussion on automation. We are looking into how, in the next five to ten years, we can have more automated border crossings and a more seamless travel experience.”

    According to various scientists, this is the result of over two decades’ work, ultimately leading to total remote surveillance and thus to a perfect panoptic society, in which we are utterly dominated by such digital technologies and the underlying logic of security policy.


    Checking people requires time and resources. Therefore, some projects aim to automatically “relieve” border officials, which means make them auxiliaries for automated systems that are falsely assumed to be more objective or reliable.

    Automated systems are supposed to detect “abnormal behavior,” increase “situation awareness,” and derive real-time information and predictions ("nowcasts") from multiple sensors attached to individuals, groups, but also freighters or other vehicles. Migration movements are to be predicted algorithmically, by analyzing Google Trends data, content on social media platforms such as Facebook and X (formerly Twitter), and “quantitative (geo-located) indicators of telephone conversations.” But such automated systems can’t replace political decisions by taking available data and leaving the decision to algorithms. The decisions have to be justified. Political decisions are also not only a byproduct of technological solutions and have to be put first.

    Risks become apparent by looking at the ITFLOWS project’s EuMigraTool. It includes “monthly predictions of asylum applications in the EU” and is supposed to “identify the potential risks of tensions between migrants and EU citizens” by providing “intuitions” on the “attitudes towards migration” in the EU using “Twitter Sentiment Analysis model data as input”. The very project’s Users Board, in which organizations such as the Red Cross and Oxfam are represented, warned in a statement against misuse, “misuse could entail closing of borders, instigating violence, and misuse for political purposes to gain support and consensus for an anti-migration policy.” The tool was developed nonetheless.

    In these EU-funded projects, people on the move are constantly portrayed as a threat to security. The FOLDOUT project explicates this core premise in all frankness: “in the last years irregular migration has dramatically increased,” therefore it was “no longer manageable with existing systems.” Law enforcement and border agencies now assume that in order to “stay one step ahead” of criminals and terrorists, automation needs to become the norm, especially in migration-related contexts.


    A driving force in border security is also one of the main customers: Frontex. Founded in 2004, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency has played an increasingly important role in the EU’s research and innovation projects in recent years. The agency’s budget has increased by 194 percent compared to the previous budget, and by an incredible 13,200 percent in the last 20 years. But Frontex’ influence goes far beyond the money at its disposal. The agency intervened to “help,” "actively participate in," and “push forward” several Horizon 2020 projects, addressing “a wide spectrum of technological capabilities critical for border security,” including Artificial Intelligence, augmented reality, or virtual reality.

    In 2020, the agency formalized their collaboration with the EU Commission’s Directorate-General for Migration and Home Affairs (DG-HOME). It allowed Frontex to provide assistance to DG-HOME “in the areas of programming, monitoring and the uptake of projects results.” The agency is now responsible for “identifying research activities,” evaluating research proposals, and the supervision of the Horizon Europe research projects’ “operational relevance.”

    The agency therefore joined EU-funded projects trials, demonstrations, and workshops, held events involving EU-funded projects, and even created a laboratory (the Border Management Innovation Centre, BoMIC) to help implement EU-funded projects in border security. This is complemented with Frontex’s own “Research Grants Programme”, whose first call for proposals was announced in November 2022, to “bring promising ideas from the lab to real applications in border security.”

    The NESTOR project promises “an entirely functional, next-generation, comprehensive border surveillance system offering pre-frontier situational awareness beyond sea and land borders.” The system is based on optical, thermal imaging, and radio frequency spectrum analysis technologies. Such data will be “fed by an interoperable sensors network” comprised of both stationary installations and mobile manned or unmanned vehicles (that can operate underwater, on water surfaces, on the ground, or in the air). The vehicles are also capable of functioning in swarms. This allows for detecting, recognizing, classifying, and tracking “moving targets” such as persons, vessels, vehicles, or drones. A “Border Command, Control, and Coordination intelligence system” would adopt “cutting-edge Artificial Intelligence and Risk Assessment technologies”, fusing “in real-time the surveillance data in combination with analysis of web and social media data.”

    The key term here is “pre-frontier awareness.” According to the EU, “pre-frontier” refers to “the geographical area beyond the external borders which is relevant for managing the external borders through risk analysis and situational awareness.” Or, to put it bluntly: the very notion of “border” ultimately dissolves into whatever the authorities want it to mean.

    The list of projects could go on and on (see the box below), but you get the EU’s gist: They perceive migrants as a threat and want to better protect their borders from them by constantly improving automation and ever-increasing surveillance − far beyond existing borders. The EU conjures up the image of a migration “crisis” that we can only hope to end through technological solutions.

    This belief is extensively and increasingly affirmed and shaped by the border and coast guard community in lockstep with the surveillance and security industries, as has been well documented. But it threatens social justice, non-discrimination, fairness, and a basic respect of fundamental rights. “Ethics assessments” only scratch at the surface of the complexity of automating migration. The systems will be developed anyway, even if the assessments fundamentally question whether the systems’ use can be justified at all. Many of these projects should not have been funded in the first place, so they should not be pursued.

    #AI #IA #intelligence_artificielle #migrations #réfugiés #contrôles_frontaliers #mur_digital #frontières_digitales #technologie #drones #satellites #frontières_intelligentes #smart_borders #Horizon_2020 #Horizon_Europe #surveillance #complexe_militaro-industriel #European_Research_Executive_Agency (#REA) #recherche #ROBORDER #REACTION #Border_Management_and_Visa_Instrument #CERTH #Grèce #NESTOR #biométrie #D4FLY #iBorderCtrl #Frontex #ITFLOWS #risques #EuMigraTool #FOLDOUT #pré-frontière

    ping @reka

  • #Pre-frontier_information_picture

    Je découvre dans un billet de blog que j’ai lu ce matin, cette info :

    From the information gathered, Frontex produces, in addition to various dossiers, an annual situation report, which the agency calls an “Pre-frontier information picture.”


    ... et du coup, ce terme de « pre-frontier information picture ».

    ça me rappelle, évidemment, la carte de @reka de la #triple_frontière européenne (où une « pré-frontière » est dessinée au milieu du désert du Sahara) :


    Je découvre ainsi, en faisant un peu de recherches, qu’il y a un #projet_de_recherche financé par #Horizon_2020 dédié à cette #pré-frontière, #NESTOR :

    aN Enhanced pre-frontier intelligence picture to Safeguard The EurOpean boRders

    Un système intégré de #surveillance des #frontières de l’UE

    Les frontières de l’Europe sont soumises à une pression considérable en raison des flux migratoires, des conflits armés dans les territoires avoisinants, du trafic de biens et de personnes, et de la criminalité transnationale. Toutefois, certains obstacles géographiques, tels que les forêts denses, les hautes montagnes, les terrains accidentés ou les zones maritimes et fluviales entravent la surveillance des itinéraires empruntés par les réseaux criminels. Le projet NESTOR, financé par l’UE, fera la démonstration d’un #système_global_de_surveillance des frontières de nouvelle génération, entièrement fonctionnel et proposant des #informations sur la situation #en_amont des frontières et au-delà des frontières maritimes et terrestres. Ce système repose sur le concept de la gestion européenne intégrée des frontières et recourt à des #technologies d’analyse d’#images_optiques et du spectre de fréquences radio alimentées par un réseau de #capteurs_interopérables.


    For the past few years, Europe has experienced some major changes at its surrounding territories and in adjacent countries which provoked serious issues at different levels. The European Community faces a number of challenges both at a political and at a tactical level. Irregular migration flows exerting significant pressure to the relevant authorities and agencies that operate at border territories. Armed conflicts, climate pressure and unpredictable factors occurring at the EU external borders, have increased the number of the reported transnational crimes. Smuggling activity is a major concern for Eastern EU Borders particularly, as monitoring the routes used by smugglers is being hindered by mountainous, densely forested areas and rough lands aside with sea or river areas. Due to the severity and the abrupt emergence of events, the relevant authorities operate for a long-time interval, under harsh conditions, 24 hours a day. NESTOR aims to demonstrate a fully functional next generation holistic border surveillance system providing pre-frontier situational awareness beyond maritime and land border areas following the concept of the European Integrated Border Management. NESTOR long-range and wide area surveillance capabilities for detection, recognition classification and tracking of moving targets (e.g. persons, vessels, vehicles, drones etc.) is based on optical, thermal imaging and Radio Frequency (RF) spectrum analysis technologies fed by an interoperable sensors network including stationary installations and mobile manned or unmanned vehicles (aerial, ground, water, underwater) capable of functioning both as standalone, tethered and in swarms. NESTOR BC3i system will fuse in real-time border surveillance data combined with web and social media information, creating and sharing a pre-frontier intelligent picture to local, regional and national command centers in AR environment being interoperable with CISE and EUROSUR.


    Projet de 6 mio. d’euro et coordonné par la #police_grecque (#Grèce) :

    Les participants (#complexe_militaro-industriel) au projet :


    #données #technologie #interopérabilité #frontières #migrations #asile #réfugiés #surveillance_des_frontières #_Integrated_Border_Management #fréquence_radio #NESTOR_BC3i_system #CISE #EUROSUR

  • Monitoring « secondary movements » and « hotspots » : Frontex is now an internal surveillance agency

    The EU’s border agency, Frontex, now has powers to gather data on “secondary movements” and the “hotspots” within the EU. The intention is to ensure “#situational_awareness” and produce risk analyses on the migratory situation within the EU, in order to inform possible operational action by national authorities. This brings with it increased risks for the fundamental rights of both non-EU nationals and ethnic minority EU citizens.

    #surveillance #mouvements_secondaires #asile #migrations #réfugiés #frontières #Frontex #hotspot #hotspots #risques #analyse_de_risques


    Dans ce rapport de Statewatch, on peut lire :

    Previously, the agency’s surveillance role has been restricted to the external borders and the “pre-frontier area” – for example, the high seas or “selected third-country ports.”2 New legal provisions mean it will now be able to gather data on the movement of people within the EU.

    Ce qui n’est pas sans rappeler la carte de @reka sur les 3 frontières européennes :


    Pour une version plus récente de cette carte...


    ping @etraces @karine4 @reka @isskein

    • #Frontex condemned by its own fundamental rights body for failing to live up to obligations

      Frontex, the EU’s border agency, has been heavily criticised for failing to provide adequate staff and resources to its own Fundamental Rights Office, a problem that “seriously hinders the Agency’s ability to deliver on its fundamental rights obligations.”

      The criticisms come in a report from the Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights, an independent advisory body made up of experts from other EU agencies, international organisations and NGOs.

      As well as noting an ongoing “reluctance” to provide the Fundamental Rights Office with “sufficiently qualified staff,” the Consultative Forum report raises concerns over Frontex’s role at the Serbian-Hungarian border, a failure to update and effectively implement codes of conduct and a complaints mechanism, and the lack of independent monitoring of forced return operations coordinated by the agency.

      See: Frontex Consultative Forum on Fundamental Rights - Fifth Annual Report (pdf): http://statewatch.org/news/2018/may/eu-frontex-consultative-forum-on-fundamental-rights-report-2017.pdf

      Fundamental rights sidelined

      While the Consultative Forum exists to provide “independent advice” to Frontex’s executive director and management board and is staffed voluntarily, the Fundamental Rights Officer is a Frontex official tasked with “contributing to the Agency’s fundamental rights strategy… monitoring its compliance with fundamental rights and… promoting its respect of fundamental rights.”

      The Officer has to oversee a large organisation - Frontex foresaw (pdf: https://frontex.europa.eu/assets/Key_Documents/Programming_Document/2018/Programming_Document_2018-2020.pdf) having 352 staff at the end of 2017, and 418 by the end of this year - yet “lacks the minimum capacity to carry outs its role,” according to the Consultative Forum, with just four staff working alongside the officer and one member of secretarial staff.

      The report states that “the lack of adequate staffing seriously hinders the Agency’s ability to deliver on its fundamental rights obligations including on key areas such as Frontex operational activities, the newly established complaints mechanism or the protection of children.”

      The Consultative Forum has come up against its own problems in attempting to carry out its tasks. According to Article 70(5) of the Frontex Regulation adopted in 2016, “the consultative forum shall have effective access to all information concerning the respect for fundamental rights.”

      Yet the report complains that the Forum “continues to face serious and further limitations” on access to information, “particularly in relation to relevant operational reference and guiding documents.” Despite “repeatedly raising this concern with Frontex management,” it is yet to receive a “final response or constructive proposal.”

      Given that Frontex operational documents have included (http://www.statewatch.org/news/2017/feb/eu-frontex-op-hera-debriefing-pr.htm) instructions for border guards to target “migrants from minority ethnic groups, and individuals who may have been isolated or mistreated during their journey,” the need for access to such information by fundamental rights monitoring bodies is clear.

      In this regard, the Consultative Forum highlights that “external oversight” - for example by the European and national parliaments and civil society groups - “remains of particular importance”.

      The Hungarian-Serbian border

      In November 2016 the Consultative Forum recommended that Frontex teams be withdrawn from the Hungarian-Serbian border due to fundamental rights concerns, but the Executive Director rebuffed the proposal, arguing that Frontex’s presence can “minimise potential risks related to the use of force” and can assist in documenting “circumstances on the ground.”

      Indeed, the positive effect of Frontex presence on national border guards has been noted elsewhere - following a trip to the Bulgarian-Turkish border, French MEP Marie-Christine Vergiat reported NGOs as saying that “whenever a Frontex officer was involved in a [Bulgarian border guard] patrolling group, there were no abuses.” (http://bulgarianpresidency.eu/marie-christine-vergiat-teaming-bulgarian-turkish-border-guards-)

      However, given the European Commission’s decision to launch an infringement procedure against Hungary for new asylum legislation that includes automatic detention, limitations on legal assistance and measures for automatic expulsion, the Forum reasserted its recommendation.

      The agency has apparently “significantly reduced the number of deployed officers and assets in Hungary,” according to the report, but a number remain in place and the Consultative Forum warns that the developments in Hungarian law and practice “have further exacerbated the risks of Frontex being involved in serious fundamental rights violations.”

      Complaints mechanism and codes of conduct

      The need for Frontex to establish a complaints mechanism so that individuals can seek redress for potential fundamental rights violations that they may have suffered during operations coordinated by the agency is a long-standing issue (https://www.ombudsman.europa.eu/activities/speech.faces/en/73745/html.bookmark), and the 2016 Regulation (https://eur-lex.europa.eu/legal-content/EN/TXT/?uri=CELEX%3A32016R1624) introduced such a mechanism (in Article 72), to be overseen by the agency in cooperation with the Fundamental Rights Officer.

      There is now, however, a need to implement this mechanism and the Consultative Forum’s report notes that:

      “The rules should, among other points, provide further details on the respective roles of the different actors involved in the procedure, specify the timeframe for the processing of complaints, and provide for the possibility of anonymous complaints. In this context the Consultative Forum reiterates its calls for the allocation of more technical staff and means to the Fundamental Rights Officer.”

      The Forum also highlights the agency’s decision to discard its recommendations on the ’Code of Conduct for all persons participating in Frontex activities’, which would have seen the inclusion of “specific references to omissions or failures to act or to the prohibition to obey or obligation not to comply with and report instructions that are illicit or against international, EU or national legislation, the Code of Conduct or the legal framework of the activity.”

      The agency is also redrafting its ’Code of Conduct for Return Operations and Return Interventions’, which is expected to be adopted this year. The Forum notes that it is “essential to strengthen the wording relating to the legal framework and, in particular, fundamental rights obligations such as the right to an effective remedy,” and makes a number of specific proposals.

      Monitoring of forced return operations

      In 2017 the agency coordinated and/or co-financed 341 forced return operations - 150 national return operations (involving just one Member State), 153 joint return operations (involving one or more Member State) and 38 collecting return operations, in which the authorities of non-EU states are involved in the “collection” of their own nationals.

      Of these 341 operations, a human rights monitor accompanied 188 of them, just 41% of the total, but nevertheless an increase on the previous year. However, the report indicates that a particularly low number of national return operations - 20 of 150 - were monitored.

      The report also notes 50 “readmission” operations from Greece to Turkey conducted by Frontex, in the framework of the EU-Turkey deal. Only 22 of these were monitored. The Forum recommends treating readmission operations in the same way as return operations, “in order to make use of the already existing standards for return operations (code, monitoring, escorts training, etc.).”

      The list goes on

      Other problems for the Consultative Forum in 2017 include a failure to prioritise the revision of Frontex’s fundamental rights strategy (now foreseen for adoption sometime this year), the need to “mainstream” gender perspectives and issues into Frontex activities, and some issues with the terminology deployed in the Africa-Frontex Intelligence Community reports, such as references to “illegal” migrants and referring to operations by the Libyan Coast Guard as “rescues”.

      Elsewhere, the Consultative Forum notes good progress made on updating measures to try to ensure the protection of children and migration and the identification of minors at risk of abuse. Nevertheless, for an agency whose “mission” is “to promote, coordinate and develop European border management in line with the EU fundamental rights charter,” it seems that the former is being given priority over the latter.


      #droits_fondamentaux #droits_humains #condamnation #frontières #asile #migrations #réfugiés

  • Je me suis un peu amusée sur FB. Avec la production de cette #carte... regardez uniquement l’idée, non pas sa réalisation... Mais en tout cas, je mettrais cela dans la catégorie : #cartographie_radicale, #cartographie_critique

    C’est une cartographie que je déduis des mots de #Minniti, ministère de l’intérieur italien, qui a déclaré au Corriere della Sera :
    « Il confine sud della Libia è il confine sud dell’Europa », soit : « la frontière sud de la Libye est la frontière sud de l’Europe ».
    Voici la source de la citation :

    Du coup, par cohérence, on peut en déduire que :
    si la frontière sud de la Libye est la frontière sud de l’Europe, alors touTEs celles et ceux qui vivent au nord de la frontière sud de la Libye, doivent être considérés européens, et doivent donc bénéficier de la libre circulation des personnes. A minima : libyens et tunisiens !

    En italien, j’ai écrit cela sur FB :

    Questione di coerenza.

    Il ministro dell’interno italiano, Minniti, dichiara al Corriere che:

    «Il confine sud della Libia è il confine sud dell’Europa»


    Quindi. Riassumendo. Se il confine sud dell’Europa è il confine sud della Libia, allora tutti e tutte quelli/e che vivono a nord del confine sud della Libia, ossia libici e tunisini, dovrebbero essere considerati europei. E dovrebbero quindi beneficiare della libera circolazione delle persone!

    Graficamente, ecco il risultato!

    #frontières #europe #frontières_mobiles #externalisation #migrations #réfugiés #asile #Libye #frontière_européenne #frontière_mobile #frontières_mobiles
    cc @reka @stesummi

  • Europe/Crisis: New Keywords of “the Crisis” in and of “Europe”

    It has become utterly banal to speak of “the crisis” in Europe, even as there have proliferated invocations of a veritable “crisis of Europe” – a putative crisis of the very idea of “Europe.” This project, aimed at formulating New Keywords of “the Crisis” in and of “Europe,” was initiated in the immediate aftermath of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January 2015, and has been brought to a necessarily tentative and only partial “completion” in the aftermath of the subsequent massacre in Paris on 13 November 2015. Eerily resembling a kind of uncanny pair of book-ends, these spectacles of “terror” and “security” (De Genova 2011; 2013a) awkwardly seem to frame what otherwise, during the intervening several months, has been represented as “the migrant crisis,” or “the refugee crisis,” or more broadly, as a “crisis” of the borders of “Europe.” Of course, for several years, the protracted and enduring ramifications of global economic “crisis” and the concomitant policies of austerity have already been a kind of fixture of European social and political life. Similarly, the events in Paris are simply the most recent and most hyper-mediated occasions for a re-intensification of the ongoing processes of securitization that have been a persistent (if inconstant) mandate of the putative Global War on Terror (De Genova 2010a, 2010c). Hence, this collaborative project of collective authorship emerges from an acute sense of the necessity of rethinking the conceptual and discursive categories that govern borders, migration, and asylum and simultaneously overshadow how scholarship and research on these topics commonly come to recapitulate both these dominant discourses and re-reify them.

    #mots #vocabulaire #terminologie #crise #migrations #asile #réfugiés #frontières #crise_des_réfugiés #catégorisation #mobilité #hotspots #pré-frontière_européenne #externalisation #empreintes_digitales #mixed_migration #flèches
    cc @reka

    • “Crisis”

      Over recent weeks, months, and indeed, years, there has been an astounding proliferation in public discourse of the word “crisis,” particularly in the European context. Most recently, we have seen the repeated invocation of a “refugee crisis,” alternately labeled a “migrant crisis.” Similarly, this same phenomenon has been depicted in terms of a “humanitarian crisis” while nonetheless depicted always also as a “crisis of the asylum system” and a “crisis” of Europe’s borders, which is to say, a “crisis” of “border control” (simultaneously signaling a “crisis” of enforcement and policing and a “crisis” of refugee “protection”), and thus, a “crisis of the Schengen zone.” Notably, alarmist reactions to the multifarious “crises” relating to the (“unauthorized”) movement of people – particularly across and within the EU’s borders – have largely served to justify the necessity of new “emergency” policies and the deployment of new means of control. Nonetheless, migration is sometimes figured as the necessary “solution” to what is often depicted as Europe’s “demographic crisis.” Furthermore, this particular conjuncture of “crisis” talk (and crisis-mongering) cannot be separated from the more pervasive discourse of “the crisis”: “economic crisis,” “financial crisis,” “debt crisis,” “crisis of Euro-zone,” “banking crisis” and the attendant recourse to a widespread promotion of the notion that “austerity” is necessary and inevitable. Within this wider framework of austerity policies, moreover, we likewise have become attuned to a more or less permanent “housing crisis.” Alongside this more narrowly economistic (neoliberal) repertoire of “crisis” discourse, therefore, we have been subjected to a parallel invocation of a “crisis of European institutions,” associated with the perennial problem of the European Union’s “democratic deficit” and thus also a “crisis of democracy,” sometimes equated even with a “crisis of the idea of Europe.” As scholars of critical migration and refugee studies, we propose that the so-called “crisis” – currently mobilized in the face of the horrific effects of the EU-ropean border and immigration regime and visa policies by the mass media, politicians, policy makers, and other state as well as non-governmental authorities – can provide a prism for unpacking and interrogating these numerous interlocking “crises.”

      #invasion #afflux #Cologne #terrorisme #urgence