Wednesday, 09 July 2014

New publication: BICC Bulletin 65

The BICC bulletin is a quarterly newsletter with a topical feature, a staff spotlight, project reports and notes. This bulletin's feature is entitled: "Human rights at the external borders of the EU" (Extract from “Peace Report 2014. Editors’ Statement: Current Developments and Recommendations”)

According to the non-governmental institution “United,” at least 17,000 people have died at the external borders of the EU in the past 20 years. All too often, boats with refugees have been intercepted in the open sea and sent back. The border control agency FRONTEX carries part of the responsibility for such practices. Border guards often prevent politically persecuted and war refugees from getting to Europe and from applying for asylum. This ‘fortress Europe’ does not go well with the international responsibility to protect (R2P):

How can EU states intervene militarily in the framework of R2P but at the same time let refugees starve and die of thirst in their boats and violate their rights on a daily basis? European border politics contradict the value systems and norms of the EU and prove to be inefficient. The sealing off of the outer borders of the EU does not really change much with regard to the real challenge of migration. This is awkward, in particular in countries where cultural homogeneity is a central pillar of national statehood. Chances of migration can, however, be life-saving. Besides, Europe urgently depends on migrants, both from an economic but also from a demographic point of view. 

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