CEASEVAL Working papers No.33

Borders and the mobility of migrants in the EU and Turkey

Publication date:
Claudia Paraschivescu, Birte Nienaber and Lucas Oesch

CEASEVAL Working papers No. 32

This comparative report investigates the ways in which the mobility of applicants for international protection, beneficiaries of international protection and irregular migrants intersect with the borders encountered during their trajectories before, during and after their arrival in six EU countries (Greece, Hungary, Germany, Luxembourg, France and Spain) and Turkey. After defining the concept of borders, this study contextualises the securitisation of EU external and internal borders, and it provides some background information on the CEAS and the Dublin Regulation, which are central to this research. Moreover, it engages with the legislative framework in place in the field of asylum in the seven countries on which this report draws. Based on qualitative interviews with a total of 96 asylum seekers, refugees and irregular migrants, as well as 94 state and non-state actors and ethnographic observation, the empirical part of the study explored the following aspects: experiences and conceptualisations of borders; mobility patterns and trajectories; the interplay between the Schengen zone and the Dublin system; the shortcomings of CEAS; as well as policies and experiences in the fields of housing and employment. The main finding of this comparative report is that while territorial borders cannot always impede human mobility, they are recreated within countries as administrative borders, which can encourage secondary movements.

Keywords: borders, mobility, asylum seekers, refugees, Schengen Agreement, Dublin Regulation, CEAS, EU