Dilemmas of European Migration Policies: Failure of Sea Rescue in the Mediterranean or Successful Externalization of Borders? (2020)
in: Sicherheit und Frieden: S + F = Security and peace, Volume 38, Issue 4, p. 215-227
Discussions about migration and security are often characterized by emotions and symbolic images, for example of capsizing, overcrowded boats with desperate people or of seemingly unmanageable queues of migrants in front of border crossings. State and non-state actors confront these uncertainties through maritime migration with different missions. This article provides an overview of these missions over time and in the context of refugee routes used. Different understandings and a lack of regulations have their core, among others, in the fact that classical sea rescue of shipwrecked seafarers differs from the phenomenon of induced distress situations for unauthorized border crossing. Reception seems morally imperative, but political consensus is lacking. The obligation to rescue endangered persons at sea as well as to examine asylum claims after border crossings are being circumvented partially. In governing the migration issue, the EU and its member states face several dilemmas. The article highlights selected dilemmas of European migration policies and addresses the question of whether we are witnessing a failure of sea rescue in the Mediterranean or a successful externalization of borders. In the outlook, policy options are outlined.