Hervé Braik – New needs and solutions for land border surveillance

Hervé Braik – Thalès, France

Given the overall increase in illegal and criminal activities at state borders, which in some cases include terrorist attacks, many countries have an obligation to strengthen border controls in order not to jeopardise their development and/or to ensure their security. Urgently needing to improve the efficiency of surveilling devices and not being able to recruit thousands of people to monitor borders, governments increasingly choose to equip themselves with integrated surveillance systems.

Virginie Baby Collin – Latin-American Migratory Fields and Migrant’s Strategies in the Context of Spanish Crisis [EN/IT]

Virginie Baby Collin – TELEMME, AMU-CNRS, Aix en Provence, France

After a decade of strong economic growth that highly increased the number of immigrants in Spain, the 2008 European crisis deeply affected the Spanish economy and engendered brutal changes in the life conditions of Spanish people and immigrants alike. The most massive and recent migration flows coming from Latin America were particularly affected. Although many migrants left Spain as a consequence of the crisis, their coping strategies in relation to the persistence of the crisis need to be analysed. This paper questions statistical and qualitative empirical data on return migration by analysing the strategies of staying, returning, or engaging in new emigrations deployed by Latin-American immigrants, particularly those of Andean origins. The migratory space in which migrants evolve needs to be seen as a resource that supports different strategies, depending on the unequal abilities of migrants.

“Restare, tornare, andare altrove? L’arco latino americano delle migrazioni e le strategie dei migranti nel contesto della crisi spagnola.”

Dopo un decennio di forte crescita economica che ha permesso l’incremento del numero di immigrati in Spagna, la crisi europea del 2008 ha profondamente intaccato l’economia del Paese causando ingenti ripercussioni sia sulle condizioni di vita della popolazione spagnola sia su quelle della popolazione immigrata. In questo quadro, i recenti e massivi flussi migratori provenienti dall’America Latina ne risultano particolarmente danneggiati. Tuttavia, nonostante molti migranti lascino la Spagna, le diverse strategie adottate come risposta alla perdurante crisi devono essere analizzate attentamente. Obiettivo di questo paper è quindi integrare dati statistici e informazioni empiriche qualitative sulle migrazioni di ritorno intraprese dagli immigrati dell’America Latina, ed in particolare da quelli provenienti dalle Ande, per analizzare le diverse strategie adottate quali rimanere in un luogo, ritornare nel Paese di origine o intraprendere un nuovo percorso migratorio. Lo spazio migratorio attraverso cui i migranti si muovono, dunque, deve essere interpretato come una risorsa che supporta le varie strategie adottate dai migranti in base alle proprie diverse possibilità.

Steve Wright – Cashing in on Fears of Mass Migration- The Political Economy of EU Border Management [EN]

Dr Steve Wright – Leeds Beckett University, United Kingdom.

The recent European Parliamentary elections resulted in a significant lurch to the right, on an anti-migrant agenda. However, this xenophobic process has been consolidating for some time. It can be understood more fully in the context of a deepening securitization of border controls in the face of multiple challenges. These include migrants fleeing wars in Africa and the Middle East, as well as a Fortress Europe Approach emerging in response to the failure of the International Community to address and prepare sustainable responses to climate change, as if people mattered. These processes of border militarisation are further linked to attempts to extend the policing of borders into areas far beyond current nation state boundaries, both for purposes of political pacification and protecting and extending the existing pathways dependencies on fossil fuel supply lines. The legitimation of such approaches are complex: and are partially masked by current security emergencies – including decisions to re-bomb Iraq and related to on-going security measures to prevent Jihadists returning to the West, to seek revenge.

This new security agenda shaped the form of previous research priorities funded under the FP7 framework and the key areas to be funded under the new Horizon 2020 programme. Already the Frontex work programme reveals a massive ambitious new hi-tech watching, alert and targeted action programme across all land, air, maritime and space borders as revelaed in the GLOBE 1 integrated border management demonstration events in the EUROSUR programmes. Post 9/11, we have witnessed a bureaucratic capture of the security funding programmes by major multinationals in EU process of setting future priorities designated to establish smarter borders for the gateways into Europe. These include:
– GLOBE (European Global Border Environment – described as “the gradual convergence of […] checks on people, checks on goods, surveillance and police investigation”) and,

– OPERAMAR (Interoperable approach to the European Union maritime security management), which is spearheaded by the mega-multinational Thales and but also including Indra and Finmeccanica, the Italian company that built the border fence between Libya and Europe. Such initiatives were funded under the ‘Integrated border management system’ call for proposals, 149 of which were templates purpose-designed to prepare the ground for larger-scale demonstration projects.

The most apt lens to understand this political economy of exclusion is structural violence. What is emerging is a military, industrial, university, security, media, entertainment complex, which channels political worries about future mass migration into tangible, technology dominated “fixes” which are essentially cash-cows for those who work and own that complex:. Just like CCTV, it doesn’t matter if the systems show little significant reductions in migrant flows: politically the hi-tech border fences become political theatre, symbolizing that the authorities are tackling this critical problem. And because the focus of the initiative lies beyond the border, the scope of activity will slowly creep beyond existing borders using surveillance and robotics to create more targeted early warning and deterrence capacities. In this way, the poorest and most vulnerable of people, the flawed consumers of Zygmunt Bauman, become expendable parts of an unprecedented money making process to fix rather than resolve the urgent human fallout of current energy, climate and security agendas.
The presentation will name, exemplar and map the emergent initiatives across Europe and look at potential and sustainable policy initiatives which were both more treaty compliant and humane in securing people not just territory. 

Barbara Sorgoni – Bordering Asylum rights: narrative credibility and the assessment of truth [EN/IT]

Barbara Sorgoni – University of Bologna

According to the 1951 Refugee Convention, international protection’s rights are predicated upon the demonstration of a well founded fear of persecution. Ethnographic and legal studies show that the refugee status determination procedure across Europe rests heavily on asylum seekers’ ability to produce an oral testimony of their persecution story which is considered credible by adjudication experts. Drawing on my ethnographic research in Italy, this paper illustrates the many steps of a lengthy and complex procedure, during which asylum seekers are repeatedly requested to reiterate their testimony. More in particular, I will use the story of two refugees in order to show how bureaucratic procedures and practices create new borders, both inside and outside the hosting country, that severely constrain the right of applicants to international protection.

Secondo la Convenzione di Ginevra sui Rifugiati del 1951, il diritto alla protezione internazionale si fonda sulla possibilità di dimostrare una ben fondata paura di essere perseguitati. Gli studi etnografici e di diritto mostrano come la procedura per la determinazione dello status di rifugiato in tutta Europa dipenda in gran parte dalla capacità dei richiedenti asilo di produrre una testimonianza orale della propria storia di persecuzione che possa apparire credibile agli organi giudicanti. Basandomi sulla mia ricerca etnografica in Italia, in questo paper passo in rassegna i molti passaggi di una lunga e complessa procedura, durante i quali i richiedenti asilo devono ripetutamente narrare la propria storia. In particolare, intendo raccontare le vicende di due rifugiati al fine di mostrare in che modo pratiche e procedure burocratiche creino nuovi confini, sia esterni che interni allo Stato di approdo, che ostacolano in modo significativo l’accesso al diritto alla protezione internazionale.

Lucio Caracciolo – Does Italy still have borders?

Lucio Caracciolo, qualités ?

The Italian borders are facing a decomposition. We started in the North-West with the Schengen Agreement. On the Southern shores, due to geopolitical dynamics triggered by the “Arab Spring”, there are almost no more border States able to control their territories. At the same time, even in the Eastern part, from the Balkans to Russia, our neighbourhood is in turmoil. This implies an increasing permeability of borders. What is to be done?


L’Italia ha ancora delle frontiere?: Lucio Caracciolo:

Le frontiere italiane sono in decomposizione. Abbiamo cominciato a Nord-Ovest, con Schengen. Sul fronte Sud, a causa delle dinamiche geopolitiche innescate dalla “primavera araba”, non esistono quasi più Stati di confine in grado di controllare il proprio territorio. Ma anche all’Est, dai Balcani alla Russia, il nostro vicinato è in fermento. Ciò implica una maggiore permeabilità delle frontiere. Che fare?

Frederica Infantino – What does migratory ‘risk’ mean? Decision-making in three visa sections in Morocco [EN/IT]

Frederica Infantino, qualités

Based on in-depth (12 months) fieldwork research in the visa sections of the consulate of Belgium, France, and Italy in Casablanca, this contribution focuses on an understudied field of inquiry: the implementation of Schengen visa policy. This contribution questions the bureaucratic activity at the core of state sovereignty that is decision-making on Schengen visa applications. This research applies the street-level/implementation approach to the field of bordering policies. Visas are borders made of paper: by delivering the Schengen visa, control is exercised at the displaced state border (the consulate) and before arrival in the immigration territory. Remote control is an old and cost-effective strategy for states. The novelty in this old strategy is that judicial constraints on migration control for liberal democratic states have increased, and that remote control has been ‘Europeanized’.

This analysis follows the lines of organizationally grounded perspectives on decision-making. It questions the practical meaning street-level bureaucrats give to the migratory ‘risk’ through their daily work routines. The paper argues that the migratory ‘risk’ is not just the ‘risk’ of irregular but also and especially regular migration. The Schengen border in Morocco emerges as re-nationalized rather than a uniform filter: the paper identifies on the one hand, the factors that hinder the convergence of border management such as the state-bound organizational setting and organizational concerns and, on the other hand, the factors that foster the convergence such as informal socialization, cognitive dimension about the ‘risks’ at stake, and organizational conditions notably the cooperation with private service providers.

Che cosa significa ‘rischio’ migratorio? Le presa di decisione in tre uffici visti in Morocco : Frederica Infantino

Basato su una ricerca di campo approfondita (12 mesi) negli uffici visti del consolato del Belgio, della Francia e dell’Italia a Casablanca, questo intervento si concentra su un ambito di ricerca poco analizzato: l’implementazione della politica dei visti Schengen. L’oggetto dell’analisi é l’attività burocratica al centro della sovranità dello Stato: la presa di decisione sulle richieste di visto. Questa ricerca applica la prospettiva teorica dell’implementazione delle politiche pubbliche a un ambito insolito: le politiche che ‘fanno’ frontiera. I visti possono essere considerati come dei confini di carta: decidendo a chi rilasciare un visto, il controllo viene esercitato a un confine dello Stato che è dislocato (il consolato) e prima dell’arrivo nel territorio di immigrazione. Il controllo a distanza è una vecchia e vantaggiosa strategia politica. La novità di questa vecchia strategia consiste nell’aumento degli obblighi giuridici per stati liberali e democratici e che questo controllo a distanza è stato ‘europeizzato’.

Questa analisi segue gli approcci organizzativi sulla presa di decisione. Interroga il significato operativo che gli street-level bureaucrats attribuiscono alla nozione vaga di ‘rischio’ migratorio con le loro routine di lavoro quotidiane. Questo intervento sostiene che il significato pratico del ‘rischio’ migratorio non è il rischio di migrazione regolare ma anche e soprattutto il rischio di migrazione regolare. Il confine dell’area Schengen in Marocco emerge come un confine nazionale piuttosto che un filtro omogeneo. Questa analisi identifica da un lato fattori che ostacolano la convergenza della gestione della frontiera e dall’altro, fattori che facilitano la convergenza come la socializzazione informale, le dimensioni cognitive rispetto ai ‘rischi’ in gioco, e le condizioni organizzative in particolare la cooperazione con i fornitori esterni di servizi.

Mariya Polner – Border Control Technologies: General Trends & Patterns of Development

Mariya Polner – WCO, Brussels

The protection of sovereignty has always been the major task of the state since its inception, along with another important function of differentiating ‘us’ from ‘them’. Thus, borders serve not only as gateways to a particular territory, but also as a manifestation of the state sovereignty. At the same time, in a globalised world where interconnectedness and integration are key dynamics influencing economic growth and social development, policymakers are increasingly realizing the need for accelerated border management regulatory reform to reduce unnecessary barriers and burdens on trade. The dilemma of balancing security (and to a certain extent, state sovereignty) and trade facilitation pushed both states and international organizations to seek for different solutions, enshrined in a whole body of newly created policies and standards.

This presentation will touch upon a small part of the overall border management ‘machinery’: border control technologies. Along with the technological progress, border agencies have been reinventing themselves, as well as the way they were operating due to the new tools used in daily operations. Therefore, tracking the development of border technologies provides an interesting insight on the functioning of the state and its policies.

See the conference slides

Robert Ireland – New perspectives on the ‘customs supply chain security paradigm’

Robert Ireland – WCO, Brussels

This presentation is a brief history of the emergence of the Customs Supply Chain Security Paradigm, which at its heart was the customs contribution to counter-terrorism following 9/11. The “new perspectives” in the title are some concluding thoughts on where we are now. In essence, the Customs Supply Chain Security Paradigm is fading as a prioritized customs policy issue, even for the United States. Following the 9/11 attacks, the paradigm emerged consisting of new national customs policies and World Customs Organization (WCO) standards intended to communicate that international cargo ships would be deterred from being used as a conduit for the delivery of terrorists or terrorist attacks. This presentation traces the paradigm’s emergence and its upward trajectory which began with the launch of the two key US Customs programmes (C-TPAT and CSI), continued with the adoption of the WCO SAFE Framework of Standards to Secure and Facilitate Global Trade, and reached a climax with the US 100% container scanning law. It will discuss the major policy themes pushed by the US Government, namely advance cargo information submission requirements, customs risk management, non-intrusive cargo scanning equipment, and security-oriented Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) programmes. It will then describe where we are now, namely a downward trajectory with the de facto abandonment of 100% scanning and the US budget crisis which foretells fewer resources for the paradigm.