European Union states have constructed over 1,000km of border partitions for the reason that fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, a brand new examine into Fortress Europe has discovered.

Migration researchers have quantified the continent’s anti-immigrant infrastructure and located that the EU has gone from simply two partitions within the 1990s to 15 by 2017.

Ten out of 28 member states stretching from Spain to Latvia have now constructed such border partitions, with a pointy enhance throughout the 2015 migration panic, when seven new boundaries have been erected.

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Regardless of celebrations this 12 months that the Berlin Wall had now been down for longer than it was ever up, Europe has now accomplished the equal size of six Berlin partitions throughout the identical interval. The boundaries are principally targeted on retaining out undocumented migrants and would-be refugees.

The erection of the boundaries has additionally coincided with the rise of xenophobic events throughout the continent, with 10 out of 28 seeing such events win greater than half one million votes in elections since 2010.

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“Europe’s personal historical past reveals that constructing partitions to resolve political or social points comes at an unacceptable value for liberty and human rights,” Nick Buxton, researcher on the Transnational Institute and editor of the report stated.

“Finally it’ll additionally hurt those that construct them because it creates a fortress that nobody desires to dwell in. Somewhat than constructing partitions, Europe must be investing in stopping the wars and poverty that fuels migration.”

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Tens of hundreds of individuals have died attempting emigrate into Europe, with one estimate from June this 12 months placing the determine at over 34,000 for the reason that EU’s basis in 1993. A complete of three,915 fatalities have been recorded in 2017.

The report additionally checked out eight EU maritime rescue operations launched by the bloc, seven of which have been carried out particularly by the EU’s border company Frontex.

The researchers discovered that not one of the operations, all carried out within the Mediterranean, had the rescue of individuals as their principal objective – with all of them targeted on “eliminating criminality in border areas and slowing down the arrival of displaced peoples”.

Only one, Operation Mare Nostrum, which was carried out by the Italian authorities, included humanitarian organisations in its fleets. It has since been scrapped and changed by Frontex’s Operation Triton, which has a smaller price range.

“These measures result in refugees and displaced peoples being handled like criminals,” Ainhoa Ruiz Benedicto, researcher for Delàs Heart and co-author of the report stated.


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On the June European Council, EU leaders have been accused by NGOs of “intentionally condemning weak individuals to be trapped in Libya, or die at sea”, after they backed the stance of Italy’s populist authorities and condemned rescue boats working within the sea.

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