Refugee Crisis and Migrations at the Gates of Europe: Deterritoriality, Extraterritoriality and Externalization of Border Controls
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La crisis de los refugiados y las migraciones a las puertas de Europa: Disuasión, Extraterritorialidad y Externalización de Controles en las fronteras
Author/sDel Valle Gálvez, Alejandro
DepartmentDerecho Internacional Público, Penal y Procesal
SourcePaix et Sécurité Internationales - Journal of International Law and International Relations
The refugee crisis has shaped a new perception of the migration reality in Europe. The ramifications of its impact on European integration are visible and enduring. The EU’s response has included a certain strategic perspective, albeit weighed down by an excess of eurocentrism and a security perception that does not take third countries’ interests into balanced account. The major economic effort being made supports a far-reaching strategy, only now beginning to be outlined, to promote economic evelopment in the countries of origin and transit of migrants. Additionally, issues such as the monitoring of respect for migrants’ human rights have not yet been suitably globally defined in this strategy. Although the behaviour and response capacity of the EU and its Member States can be assessed in different ways, the truth is that the migration debate has decisively wayed a block of countries that are openly reluctant to engage in intra-European solidarity and accept the new realities and responsibilities entailed by the refugees already present and yet to come to Europe. This position is very negative in the medium and long term, since, as noted, the crisis has also underscored the permanence of migration trends and flows and the consolidation of the routes or gates of entry to Europe. This contribution considers the vulnerability of the European borders designed and in operation in the Schengen Area. The internal borders were the most affected at the start of the migration crisis and are likely to be marked by current regulatory changes, which tend to allow exceptionality as a relatively common occurrence in the European ‘federal’ area of free movement. Nevertheless, the resilience of this system of the absence of internal border controls in the ‘federal’ area of free movement is undeniable. The impact on the EU’s external borders has been even greater, as it has shown once and for all that, more than fragile or vulnerable, some border controls, such as the sea border ones, are not practicable, especially those on Europe’s southern sea borders. It is precisely this infeasibility of border control in marine areas that leads to the accentuation of certain trends on Europe’s external borders, such as the externalization of migration controls. New regulatory and strategic planning developments confirm this trend, as well as the current concern for deploying an integrated external border management system. With regard to the phenomenon known as the ‘externalization’ of migration controls, the literature considers it to refer to EU actions aimed at reducing, sorting and controlling migration flows with the consent of third states in relations that are, by definition, asymmetrical. This article has addressed the different situations that arise, highlighting the advisability of differentiating between externalizing migration policy, on the one hand, and extraterritorial action concerning migration control, on the other. In search of greater conceptual accuracy, the term ‘deterritoriality’ has been used, as it is more neutral than the other terms mentioned insofar as it evokes the idea of positioning outside the territory certain border control and migration policy functions, to be carried out by other states or by the state itself. Since these are situations and actions linked to migration and border control, they should be conceptually situated outside the territory; the deterritoriality option hypothetically makes it possible to encompass both the externalization and the extraterritoriality of border control functions concerning migration. To this end, this article has focused on the various notions and activities that might be discussed in relation to the ‘externalization’ and the ‘extraterritoriality’ of migration controls and border functions, terms that, in sum, refer to migration control and management activities outside the territory, carried out by public officials of the EU states or by third states. On the one hand, externalization is considered to refer to the management and control of migration flows, the activities of adopting agreements, programmes, action plans and measures to encourage third states to monitor their own borders and migration flows in order to control, restrict or impede physical access to the territory of the EU states, accepting the placement in their territory, or the rejection, of refugees and migrants from other states. It does not involve the presence of or direct exercise of control activities by public officials of the EU Member States. In fact, outside European territory it is highly debatable that states are strictly performing border control unctions, as it is an area that may more accurately fall within the more generic field of migration flow control linked to migration policy and European external action. On the other hand, extraterritorialization is understood to entail the performance of border control functions by states themselves outside their own territory. This case should involve the presence of or exercise by Member State public officials of some (effective) border control activities or functions in areas without state jurisdiction or in the territory of third states, with their consent. We are witnessing a change in the very concept of border in this post-globalization era, in which certain functions are offshored and systematically placed outside a state’s territory and checkpoints. However, territorial and extraterritorial actions must be differentiated from those occurring as part of external actions in or with third states for the purposes of migration policy and the control of migration flows. The reality is that a new border space south and east of the Mediterranean has been configured for migratory flows, which needs a new policy of external borders for these areas. Therefore, we must reflect on new frontier spaces, with new concepts and approaches to the border that provide other parameters of action towards migratory flows and external controls. Today, the Union needs new instruments and concepts for these new realities, especially so as not to lose sight of the fact that, when it comes to tackling crises such as those related to migration and the rights of foreigners approaching or entering its territory and jurisdiction, Europe is a rational construct entailing a project for civilizational progress. As such, it must permanently incorporate its values and respect for human rights in all its policies, regulatory measures and actions with foreigners and third states, both on its own external borders and beyond them. This is essential for the identity and objectives of the European integration, and for the projection of the EU security, solidarity and values in accordance with the International and European Human Rights Law.
SubjectsEuropean Union; immigration; refugees; asylum; European values; border controls; immigration controls; migration policy; borders; internal borders; external borders; Frontex; maritime immigration; externalization; extraterritoriality; deterritoriality; human
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Del Valle Gálvez, Alejandro (CENTRO DE ESTUDIOS POLITICO SAY CONSTITUCIONALES -. Ministerio de la Presidencia- Madrid, www.cepc.gob.esd, 2016-12)