Migration, protection and reception: the 'crisis' in the Mediterranean
Scholars writing on migration in the European Union have called attention to the competing dynamics where Europe’s borders have been softened and simultaneously hardened: internal borders have been removed while external border controls now limit and monitor the entry of non-Europeans. This softening/hardening is evident in the contest between effective border management and the protection of human rights, above all the right to asylum. What academic scholars have not recognised, however, is the differentiating and, at times, polarising effect that this dynamic has had on the provision of services, above all in matters of migrant reception. This paper reports on a current project funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council and UK Department of International Development (DFID) which aims to conduct urgent data collection and essential analysis on the Mediterranean ‘migration crisis’ and to make findings swiftly available to policymakers, practitioners and the research community. This paper includes three case studies from Greece, Italy and Malta, providing an insight into the profiles, routes, experiences and plans of individual migrants and maps the ‘reception systems’ in these countries. This paper informs our understanding of the hardening and softening of borders within the European Union and the management of humanitarian protection in both countries of arrival and relocation within the European Union.
Speakers: Brad Blitz (Middlesex University London), Othon Anastasakis