H. van Houtum
- The geopolitical fabric of the border regime in the EU-African borderlands
- Book title
- Dutch windows on the Mediterranean: Dutch geography 2004-2008
- Pages (from-to)
- Number of pages
- Utrecht: Koninklĳk Nederlands Aardrĳkskundig Genootschap (KNAG)
- Netherlands geographical studies
- Volume | Edition (Serie)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
The Mediterranean Sea has long been a Mare Nostrum but since the decolonisation in the twentieth century it has become a sharp divide between Europe and Africa. In the past decade, the closure of that border has become symbolized by the desperate attempts of migrants from the global South, mainly Sub-Saharan Africa, to cross the Mediterranean on board small pateras to enter European countries without the requested documents to travel legally. The welfare and opportunity differential between North and South, as well as demographic conditions South of the Mediterranean, explain the high potential for migration between the two sides of the border. However the reduction of opportunities for labour migration and tighter border controls have led to an increase in numbers of undocumented residents including visa overstayers, asylum seekers whose application has been rejected and undocumented migrants crossing the border irregularly. This paper shows how migration control has become a central increasingly machine-like as also moral highly dubious geopolitical strategy of the EU in the Mediterranean region and how bordering processes affect these EU-African borderlands.
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