EU’s Shifting Borders- Scrutinizing Externalization of Migration Management and International Protection Responsibilities

In the past years, and especially in the aftermath of the so-called “refugee crisis”, the European Union has increasingly outsourced the implementation of its migration and border management policy to third countries, despite their often questionable human rights record, with the ultimate aim of preventing migrants, including asylum seekers, to reach the territory of the EU to seek protection. The EU sustains its cooperation with third countries in this area mainly though funding mechanisms in the field of development cooperation policy (e.g. EU Trust Fund for Africa and the upcoming Neighbourhood, Development and International Cooperation Instrument​). Against this backdrop, this project will examine the legality of the use of development assistance to pursue EU’s migration management objectives, in the light of permissible aims and its impact on the fundamental rights of those seeking protection, using selected EU-funded projects as case studies. It will further reflect on the role of institutional actors – such as the European Commission, the European Parliament, the Court of Justice of the EU, and the EU Ombudsman – in managing and possibly contesting the use of EU funding in this area. To this aim, this research will take a multidisciplinary approach, combining desk-based research with semi-structured interviews with practitioners, NGOs operating in the field, and EU institutional actors.

Researcher: Andreina De Leo (see profile)

Supervisors: Mariolina Eliantonio, Andrea Ott, Lilian Tsourdi, Alberto-Horst Neidhardt (see profiles)