North African Migration and Europe’s Contextual Mediterranean Border in Light of the Lampedusa Migrant Crisis of 2011
Title: North African Migration and Europe’s Contextual Mediterranean Border in Light of the Lampedusa Migrant Crisis of 2011
Author: MCMAHON, Simon
Series/Number: EUI SPS; 2012/07
In the opening months of 2011 thousands of migrants arrived on the small Italian island of Lampedusa. In their responses, national governments in Europe appeared to self-interestedly close their national borders, rather than establish a common protection of the Mediterranean border to ‘Fortress Europe’. Different border controls appeared in Lampedusa, the Italian peninsula and the Franco-Italian border. This paper examines this case and asks why controls arose in different times and places in Southern Europe. The border is conceptualised as a process of differentiation tied to politically contingent decision making processes in which Italian, French and European actors attempted to define the nature of the flows and the responses to take within the structural framework of the EU’s border regime. The analysis illustrates the political dynamics by which migration through Europe’s Southern border can be regulated and controlled in contextually contingent locations.
Subject: Migration; borders; European integration; Fortress Europe; Italy
Type of Access: openAccess