The European Union – An Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice(?)

(Photo: European Parliament, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

During the first half of 2015 I worked for the European Commission in Brussels in the “Ministry” (the Directorate General – DG) for Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME). My unit was in charge of programming funds in the area of border security, asylum and migration to distribute them to the Member States. Early on, I gained the impression that buried in the paper work I was losing sight of the bigger picture and of the people ultimately affected.

The political decision taken on national level over the last months have only underlined this impression (Austria limits daily influx). Often, political decision-makers ignore the refugees’ fate (best case) or simply accept it as inevitable (let’s say “without alternative”).

In the meantime, I moved back to Germany, the Western Balkan route is closed and the number of people reaching Germany’s borders plummeted. Yet, we are all aware that the situation neither in Syria (despite a partly armistice) nor in its neighbouring countries changed significantly. This begs the question where all those people are that are not seen to travel the route anymore.

Where are the ones that don’t reach Germany’s borders?

This is the question I am wondering about. I would like to get a grip on what happened to the refugees stuck on the route due to closed borders, and to portray their fate. Those, who are struggling to find alternative ways to proceed with their journey. Those, who still arrive in Greece and are not allowed to leave the country anymore.

Additionally, I would like to shed some light on what the sudden reactivation of old borders means to European citizens dismissing the principles of the Schengen area. I am wondering what is still left of the “Area of Freedom, Security, and Justice” for European citizens and all those travelling.



About the blog/Über den Blog:
About me/Über mich:
The German Red Cross project/Das DRK-Projekt:



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