Actionday on June 6th in Warsaw/Poland: SHUT DOWN FRONTEX!
Transnational Resistance against the “European Border Agency“ – Fight the Border Regime – for Global Freedom of Movement!
Press-conference and Protest-Siege in front of the headquarter of FRONTEX in Warsaw, against european borderregime and its externalisation to the East and South, in the frame of the transnational chain of migrationrelated actions!
While the number of migrants and refugees is rising everywhere, the European Union is implementing a more and more restrictive border regime to limit, control and “manage” migration according to its own interests. The result is violent exclusion of migrants and refugees, leading to thousands of people dying every year outside the walls of Fortress Europe, in the desert, in the Mediterranean sea or in the Atlantic ocean, leading to enforced mass deportations, leading to millions of “undocumented migrants” and asylum seekers who are deprived of fundamental Human Rights and Labour Rights. FRONTEX, the “European Border Agency“, plays a crucial core role for this racist european border regime and has achieved rapidly growing importance and budget since its foundation in 2005.
Border Regime Visions of the EU Commission
On February 13th, 2008, Franco Frattini, the Justice, Security and Freedom Commissioner and Vice-President of the European Commission, presented the European Commission’s so-called Border Package, entitled „A comprehensive vision for an integrated European border management system for the 21st century“.
The package is comprised of three parts. The first is an evaluation of and outlook for Frontex, the European border security agency. The second part addresses the establishment of the European border surveillance system (EUROSUR). The third part discusses the creation of an entry register. In particular, the third part was picked up by the media and was, in parts, heavily criticized. This raises concerns that this allowed for distraction from the first two parts, which will be silently implemented without further discussion.
At the press conference, Franco Frattini emphasized repeatedly that the border package is only a proposal for the future architecture of the European Union’s border management. It must now be discussed with the Council of the European Union, the European Parliament and the member states. It is only a vision, and not a concrete proposition,
and above all not something that is ready to be implemented. Rather, implementation would only happen over the next five to ten years. Nevertheless, the EU is expected to take concrete steps towards an even more rigid „politics of fortification“ within a short period of time.
Slovenia, which will hold the Presidency of the EU for the first half of 2008, is to host a conference presented by the EU Minister for Interior Affairs, „Securing the European Borders“, on March 11 and 12, 2008. It is of concern that some of the (non-binding) suggestions of the commission will be put into place at this conference. Furthermore, in 2008,an evaluation of the „Schengen“ process will take place, which could lead to further new initiatives by the
This text shall sketch out the direction in which the European Commission wants to take the European border regime. Through this process, some links between the existing ‚Border Management‘ and the practice of ‚Frontex‘ will be illustrated The need for this unattractive vision of a complete and highly technological practice of „fortification“ to be met with resistance should be clear.
The quest for an external border
This text is meant to trace the historical process leading up to the idea, construction and implementation of the EU external border we know today. The description surely is neither complete nor particularly profound, considerably more could be written about most of the topics. Nevertheless, this cursory overview is important in order to position Frontex within a longer-lasting process and to counteract a false perception of it. Even if Frontex is known primarily for its missions in the Mediterranean and in the Atlantic Ocean, Frontex is active in many more fields and practices of border security. These mostly go unnoticed by the public, even though they correspond just as much to the European policies of migration and foreclosure.
The de-territorialisation of the external border
This text, complimentary to the historical development described in ‘The Quest for the External Border’ summarizes the central developments and examines aspects of a re-definition of the term ‘border’, focussing on the theme of de-territorialisation, i.e. the transformation of the border from its linear geographical meaning to a mobile, fragmented border territory, a ‘border without borders’. Some examples will serve to verify this process in order to continue discussing the interrelated meaning of the border and Frontex.