Frontex and the externalization of European border control
Each night Spanish navy ships set sail out of the Dakar, Senegal, harbour hunting for boat refugees who are attempting to reach the Canary Islands. EU-border control agency Frontex is actively patrolling the West-African seas of Mauritania, Senegal and Cape Verde since 2006. This happens under the framework of the Joint Operation HERA up to 3000 kilometers from the Southern-European coast.
Previous years we have witness that the European border security has increasingly come to exist beyond the geographical borders. The European Union is since 2001 demanding her member states that each agreement with third countries includes a clause about the ´mutual management of migration flux´ (read : preventing ´clandestine´ migration) and the obligatory readmission of ´illegal´ migrants from Europe.
The externalization of the European border control far within Africa is shown in the exhibition «Europe closes our borders! ». This was also the title of an article in the Senegalese newspaper Le Soleil on the readmission agreement with Spain in 2006. This treaty offered 20 million euro of development aid to Senegal. Europe is paying for the detention of migrants who are ‘intending’ to go to Europe and for the collective expulsions to neighboring countries. Expulsions of migrants from the Canary Islands are very unpopular among the population of Senegal that´s blaming their government of betrayal. African states have become ´Europe´s gendarmerie´.
«Europe closes our borders! » shows how border controls, readmission of clandestine migrants and development make up a three-unit of the integral European migration policy. As part of the transnational campaign against Frontex it points out that the struggle against European border regime is happening on both sides of the Schengen border.
For freedom of movement!
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