The externalisation of EU borders – a broad and much-discussed subject within border studies (Cuttitta, 2007; Jeandesboz & Pallister-Wilkins, 2014; De Genova, Mezzadra & Pickles, 2015; Pallister-Wilkins, 2015) – has occurred alongside a “spatial re-bordering” of the Union (Tazzioli, 2016, p. 13); that is, a real shift of its political power outside its official borders. Almost in parallel, and in particular since 2015, we have witnessed a spatial re-bordering of some member states (Cassidy, Yuval-Davis, Wemyss, 2018), especially those that are directly adjacent to the first-entry countries of migratory flows (es). Border controls between EU Member States have improved since 2015, because of secondary movements and “the war on terrorism”. This fact has led to several suspensions of the Schengen Agreement, which, in the European context, regulates the opening of borders between the signatory countries since 1985. Current happenings concerning the EU’s internal borders are linked to a new migration control regime defined by the short circuits that created between the Dublin and Schengen agreements (Kasparek, 2016).

The return of the EU internal border after Schengen has translated over time into an increased presence of police on both sides of the border, the creation of official camps by NGOs and state authorities in order to control and organise the flows and the creation, the development and (often) the dismantling of makeshift camps built by migrants in transit who find themselves stuck in these bottlenecks (Katz, 2016, 2017). The number of informal settlements has grown rapidly. These take on extremely varied forms: makeshift camps in the open air, disused buildings, containers, shantytowns. Despite this diversity, what these spaces have in common is their marginalised, deprived, precarious character.


Cuttitta, P. (2007). Segnali di confine. Il controllo dell’immigrazione nel mondo-frontiera. Milano:Mimesis.

De Genova, N., Mezzadra, S., & Pickles, J. (2015). New keywords: Migration and borders. Cultural studies, 29(1), pp. 55-87.

Jeandesboz, J., & Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2014). Crisis, enforcement and control at the EU borders. In Crisis and Migration. New York:Routledge, pp. 127-147.

Kasparek, B. (2016) Complementing Schengen: The Dublin system and the European border and migration regime. In Migration policy and practice. New York:Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 59-78.

Katz, I. (2016). A network of camps on the way to Europe. Forced Migration Review, 51, pp. 17-19. https://www.fmreview.org/destination-europe/katz.

Katz, I. (2017). Between Bare Life and Everyday Life: Spatializing Europe’s Migrant Camps. Architecture_MPS, 12(2), pp. 1–21.

Pallister-Wilkins, P. (2015). The humanitarian politics of European border policing: Frontex and border police in Evros. International Political Sociology, 9(1), pp. 53-69.

Tazzioli, M (2016). Greece’s camps, Europe’s hotspots, October 2016, Oxford Bordercriminologies blog https://www.law.ox.ac.uk/research-subject-groups/centre-criminology/centreborder-criminologies/blog/2016/10/greece%E2%80%99s-camps

Yuval-Davis, N., Wemyss, G., & Cassidy, K. (2018). Everyday bordering, belonging and the reorientation of British immigration legislation. Sociology, 52(2), pp. 228-244.