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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Criminalisation of migration and solidarity

Migration and solidarity with people on the move is being increasingly criminalised. Resisting this criminalisation is a central part of our work. We research and document socio-political developments and cases of criminalisation. In doing so, we provide concrete support for those affected and inform and sensitize a broad public in the form of information materials, public events and campaigns.

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Central Mediterranean Info

borderline-europe started in March 2019 to put together information about the situation in the Central Mediterranean Sea for internal research reasons. In 2020 we decided to publish these info-letters.

Only available in English.

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Situation of refugees and migrants in Italy

Here you will find information and a newsletter about the situation of refugees and migrants in Italy. We apologize - only in German language! This newsletter has been produced on behalf of PRO ASYL from 2009 -2017 by our Italian office and is published on the pages of Pro Asyl and borderline-europe. From 2017 December borderline-europe will produce the newsletter.

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Sahara: Externalisation of the EU Borders

The 9 million square kilometres of the Sahara now form an externalised border of the European Union. Push-backs, quarantine camps, military patrols and checkpoints in an area without infrastructure are supposed to ensure that the border becomes insurmountable. Who still dares to move can face easily death. We document human rights violations against people on the move in the Sahara.

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Sea rescue is not a crime

Recent attempts to criminalise sea rescuers show one thing above all: the entry of migrants should be prevented by all means. In 2020, the Alan Kurdi and the Aita Mari, two civil sea rescue vessels, were confiscated in Palermo, and when the Alan Kukrdi was released, they were threatened that they would be arrested again next time. Italy, like Malta, has closed its ports because of the Corona crisis. But everyone has the right to life! Rescue at sea is not a crime!

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Monitoring opaque EU-ad hoc relocation from the Sea to the Cities

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 Secret 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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