New kinds of confinement at the borders of the European Union

Proceedings of the Migreurop Conference - Madrid 2019

Since the implementation of the “hotspot approach” by the European Union (EU) in 2015, Migreurop has been decoding its consequences on migrants’ rights in publications and throughout various international meetings (Calais 2015, Rabat 2016). Preventing exiles’ arrivals and criminalizing migration are the aim of this mechanism – which is not new – and it comes with an increase of violence and violations of migrants’ rights within a security policy framework. After five years, what is the situation in Europe and beyond?

As an overview, Migreurop organized a conference in Madrid on 8 June 2019 about new forms of confinement at the EU’s gates. It has given an opportunity to update knowledge on detention situations in various countries of the geographical area covered by the network. Thanks to our members and guests, we discussed about the situation in the Greek and Italian hotspots – as real “modern oblivion” – as well as in the “Temporary Accommodation Centres for Immigrants” (CETI) in the Ceuta and Melilla enclaves. These areas are made to sort out migrants and to keep them away from the European borders. Other topics have also been addressed, such as non-access practices in Malta and Spain and externalisation policies- linked to the “hotspot approach” - through the cases of Morocco, Egypt and Libya. Finally, hotspots or affiliated sites confine exiles to unsuited places, and that actually serves another purpose : the management of closed borders.