History

Foundation of our association

borderline-europe was founded in 2007 in response to the increasing foreclosure of "Fortress Europe". We have made it our mission to publicise the EU's misanthropic refugee policy. The association's founders, who had long been involved in refugee policy, joined forces with other activists and laid the foundation for the cooperation.

Elias Bierdel and Stefan Schmidt were contacted. With the German humanitarian rescue ship "Cap Anamur" the two had saved a refugee boat in 2004, including 37 men from various African countries, for example Ghana and Eritrea. The captain of the ship, Stefan Schmidt, at that time the head of the committee Cap Anamur, Elias Bierdel, and the first officer Vladimir Dashkevich stood trial for five years in Italy for alleged "aiding and abetting" and "smuggling" of the 37 people they had saved from death.

There was an urgent need for action. Together with the prominent defendants, who kept the media world in suspense, and activists from Berlin and Brandenburg, Judith Gleitze and Harald Glöde laid the foundation for borderline-europe.

 

Press comments on the process (selection)

Menschen "verschwinden, ertrinken, verdursten", Retter in Not, Justiziable Flüchtlingspolitik, Wer hilft, wird bestraft, Bierdel-Prozess dokumentiert "den größten Menschenrechtsskandal", Grenzen humanitärer Hilfe, Diese Toten sind Botschafter jenes großen Unrechts, Hoffnung auf ein besseres Leben, Flüchtlingshelfer sollen in Haft, Sonntagsreden zur EU-Abschottung, Nach der Irrfahrt auf der langen Bank gelandet, Exempel auf Sizilien, Wir sind keine Schlepper, Italien: Prozess gegen früheren Cap-Anamur-Chef eröffnet, Nach Flüchtlingsrettung vor Gericht, Vorwurf Schlepperei

 

10 years Cap Anamur

In 2004 the "Cap Anamur" - the relief and rescue vessel of the eponymous humanitarian organization - left its home port Lübeck to help people in need. Ten years - and countless deaths - later we want to discuss what has changed in dealing with refugees and migrants in the Mediterranean and what should change urgently. At an event on June 20, 2014 in the Jakobikirche in Lübeck, both the EU's policy of foreclosure and the alleged "African onslaught" on Europe's prosperity fortress were questioned and discussed. On this day - exactly ten years after Cap Anamur welcomed 37 people in the Mediterranean - we looked back. Here is some of the press coverage on this day and the story of "Cap Anamur": 10 years Cap Anamur

Current projects

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Criminalization of Migration & Solidarity in Italy

In the course of the collective attempt to shut down its borders, the EU uses numerous means of deterrence to prevent people from seeking safety in Europe. The criminalisation of people on the move and those who are in solidarity with them has been a widespread strategy for years. In Italy, too, people are prosecuted under the charge of "aiding and abetting unauthorised entry".

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Migrants in Sicily - the monitoring project of Borderline Sicilia Onlus and borderline-europe


Since 2011, monitoring and observation of the situation, but also advocacy has been one of the core tasks of our sister association Borderline Sicilia Onlus. Arrivals, the situation of the centres, access to the asylum procedure are just some of the areas on which reports are published in three languages.

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Situation of refugees and migrants in Italy

Here you can find our bi-weekly Update on the situation in Italy "Scirocco - News in Brief" and further information on the situation of refugees and migrants in Italy.

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Central Mediterranean Info 2.0

borderline-europe started in March 2019 to put together information about the situation in the Central Mediterranean Sea for internal research reasons. In 2021 we decided to publish parts of the data via Social Media and on our website.

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EU ad hoc relocation - A lottery from the sea to the hotspots and back to unsafety

As a consequence of the Italian Ministry of the Interior's measures to block the arrival of people rescued from distress at sea, an EU ad hoc distribution mechanism was adopted in Malta in September 2019. With our new project, we are monitoring and documenting the implementation of these measures together with Sea-Watch, borderline Sicilia and the Refugee Council. We demand the stop of security checks by the German Domestic Intelligence Service in Italy and Malta. Relocation cannot take place without the people's consent to the country of destination and the guaranteed right to stay.

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EU-Pact on Migration

Since March 2021, borderline-europe has been coordinating a project on the New EU Pact on Migration and Asylum within the framework of the "Europe for Citizens" program. A total of six partner organizations are addressing the Pact regarding various focal topics.

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