One ought to think in terms of a new emerging architecture regarding the fate of European migration policy.
At the base of the structure will stand the European External Border Surveillance System (EUROSUR) and the Entry-Exit System (EES). The first will create a surveillance umbrella over the Mediterranean that will co-ordinate member states through Frontex and monitor all influxes. The second will register and privet bona fide passengers to Europe and point out over stayers. Big Brother might be a tired term but it describes the system well. The European Commission has committed billions of Euro, for over five years already, into research and development of equipment that will sustain the system and it rushed the making of relative legislation to offer it adequate legitimacy. This takes place while major question regarding the conflict of interest that occurs between the Commission and defense contractors remain unanswered.
The superstructure will materialise on national and institutional level. Frontex’s mandate was enlarged in 2011, to the point of making it capable to integrate and operate almost all functions related to migration control, meaning surveillance, screening, detentions and returns. A quick look at the new national migration control plan of Greece for then next two years makes obvious that screening of new arrivals and detention of returnable population is being systematised with political support and funding offered generously from the Commission. New camps will open, older ones will be renovated. Greece is moving to put in place a more sophisticated system of population controls that will rid it of the mess of the last ten years. Not all are bad with this new system. The new Greek asylum system, attached on the national plan, will also be in place in about a year dealing with the problems of the massive backlog of asylum application. Some people will manage to exit the long term deadlock they have experienced in Greece and continue their journey. Fewer will be able to abuse asylum applications.
The new Architecture will be a complete system of border controls. Greece will look again like a buffer zone, though this time it might be an effective one. The leading force behind it is a vision about this world conceived by security experts and crisis analysts. In their vision enormous economic benefits wait to be rip by the ones who will dominate the materialisation of the new architecture, the defense contractors through their security equipment production departments.
Still the new Architecture’s value and the consideration of its success should not be based solely on the capacities of control it creates. One had basically to think about it as a proposition of elite economic and political forces for how the world will look in 15 years from now. The vision behind it predicts a chaotic world on the limits of Europe, with waves of destitute population besieging it. Its reality itself that might render it inaccurate or irrelevant. It might also be correct. But its a duty of any critical active voice in the field to answer the emerging challenges on rights, liberties and personal freedoms along this creation. This is a vital dialog, but one ought to worry for a basic difficulty in it. The other side is not inclined to talk much. Defense contractors careerists, their lobbyist and their political interlocutors are not enthusiastic about vigorous scrutiny and strong public debates. Its seems like we will have to do all the talking, again.
More on the emerging external European borders regime
Closing Europe’s Borders Becomes Big Business
People Pay for Research Against Migrants
Published first at the Global Governance Programme