About us

The deadly consequences of the EU border regime

borderline-europe offers civil resistance against the European migration and border policy since 2007. People facing death while fleeing from their countries have by now become common and/or an everyday reality. What is almost never mentioned is that these deaths are a direct consequence of the European migration policy and thus preventable.  The multitude of the restrictive measures used to seal off the European states is what we call the EU border regime. The influence of this regime does not only extend to the EU itself but also far beyond the European borders, killing more and more people seeking a decent life. These people are fleeing their countries because wars, natural disasters, and unjust economic and trade conditions destroyed their livelihoods. They are fleeing violent and discriminatory social circumstances in their countries of origin, which are often direct consequences of colonialism. The personal reasons to embark on this journey can be various. It is not up to us to decide who should be allowed to live, work and travel humanely. This is why equal rights for all people are necessary.

The current European migration and border policy, having reached a new dimension with the foundation of the border agency FRONTEX in 2005, runs counter to the universal conception of equal rights. Off the coasts of the EU member states Malta, Spain, Cyprus, Greece and Italy and along the coasts of Libya, Turkey and Tunisia the European military has been trying to stop and even criminalize the crossings. In some cases, the operations are conducted in cooperation with the military of the countries people seeking refuge originate from. People are forced to enter irregularly by sea because there are simply no legal ways of entry for them. Many of them are denied any freedom of movement, a privilege taken for granted by Europeans.

The current so-called migration partnerships with African states and Turkey are just another step towards completing the European closed-door policy. These partnerships allow investing billions in militarization, technologisation and securitization of borders, data collection, and biometrics in countries outside European borders. In the EU, borders are reconstructed through the suspension of the Schengen Agreement, the expansion of border controls, erection of fences and deportations. The attempt to control and stop migration on the international level only exacerbates the problems like human trafficking, torture and rape in deportation camps, forced labor and leads to death.

Despite its portrayal as a threat by the public discourse, migration is not a crime. We experience a political climate where racist and discriminating attitudes are expressed openly and are increasingly earning civil and political support.

What we do

borderline-europe is an association based in Berlin, Palermo and Lesbos. Some of us work full-time, others volunteer their time to support the organization. We combine our different experiences and expertise to gain a nuanced insight into the field. Our diverse work profits from everybody’s initiative, exchange and participation.

  • We conduct research and produce extensive and reliable documentation about the situation in the border regions
  • We work in transnational networks, connect various actors, and support civil and activist cooperation
  • We support direct humanitarian interventions
  • We organize and support local and transnational protests, events and actions 
  • We provide information about current developments in the EU migration policy online, on our website and through social media

Our goal is to present the various aspects and the impact of the increasingly complex migration policy to the public. We want to raise a political and critical awareness to counter racist structures and the deadly consequences of the closed-door policy. In solidarity, we take a stand against the indifference of politics and society   humane solutions can only be found if we dare to face reality.

 

français: qui sommes-nous [pdf]

 

Current projects

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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 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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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 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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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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Sahara: Externalisation of 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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Our work on Lesvos

Since 2015 we have been actively supporting People on the Move on Levos in various fields like education, first reception and bureaucratic steps. Since 2009 we are involved in different reports on the situation in Greece and the Aegean. Overaching values and aims of our work are to fight for human rights without borders.

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