Archives de catégorie : Méditerranée Frontières

Martina Tazzioli, Glenda Garelli, Containment beyond detention: The hotspot system and disrupted migration movements across Europe, Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, February 2018


« This article deals with the ways in which migrants are controlled, contained and selected after landing in Italy and in Greece, drawing attention to strategies of containment aimed at disciplining mobility and showing how they are not narrowed to detention infrastructures. The article starts by tracing a genealogy of the use of the term ‘hotspot’ in policy documents and suggests that the multiplication of hotspots-like spaces is related to a reconceptualisation of the border as a critical site that requires prompt enforcement intervention. The article moves on by investigating the mechanisms of partitioning, identification and preventive illegalisation that are at stake in the hotspots of Lampedusa and Lesbos. Hotspots are not analysed here as sites of detention per se: rather, the essay turns the attention to the channels of forced mobility that are connected to the Hotspot System, focusing in particular on the forced transfers of migrants from the Italian cities of Ventimiglia and Como to the hotspot of Taranto. The article concludes by analysing channels of forced mobility in the light of the fight against ‘secondary movements’ that is at the core of the current European Union’s political agenda, suggesting that further academic research could engage in a genealogy of practices of migration containment. »

Keywords: Hotspot, migration, detention, containment, Mediterranean


Paolo Cuttitta, Depoliticization through search and rescue? Humanitarian NGOs and migration management in the central Mediterranean. Geopolitics, July 2017.


« This article analyses the search and rescue (SAR) activities carried out by three NGOs (MOAS, MSF and Sea-Watch) in the Central Mediterranean, and asks whether and in how far non-governmental SAR contributes to the repoliticization of the EU maritime border. The article first introduces the concept of depoliticization/repoliticization, as well as that of humanitarianization. Two sections summarize the development of the SAR regime and the governmentalization of international waters in the Strait of Sicily from the Cap Anamur case to 2016, and from late 2016 to recent days. Against this backdrop, the article analyses the different political positions taken by MOAS, MSF and Sea-Watch, their operational activities, as well as their cooperation and relations with the other actors involved in SAR. The three NGOs react differently to the contradictions that are typical of humanitarian non-state action. MOAS keeps a neutral political profile, whereas MSF and Sea-Watch regard their SAR activities as part of a political, not only humanitarian commitment. While the convergence of delocalized state sovereignty and humanitarian reason leaves hardly any room for manoeuvre, MSF and Sea-Watch try to question and contrast governmental policies and practices, as well as to turn international waters into a political stage from which they can make their voice heard and on which they can play the watchdog role. »

Available at:

Fundamental rights and the EU hotspot approach, Danish Refugee Council, 2017 november

« Refugees and asylum seekers experience a broad range of rights violations when they arrive to the so-called hotspots in Italy and Greece. Additionally the Greek hotspots have become a form of deterrence policy, a new Danish Refugee Council (DRC) study of the implementation of the EU hotspot approach shows.

Gaps in information, lack of legal assistance, under-identification of vulnerable persons, restricted freedom of movement and de facto detention. This is just some of the conditions which asylum seekers and refugees arriving in the hotspots in Italy and Greece meet, according to a legal assessment of the current operation of the EU hotspot approach. The result is a wide range of fundamental rights issues in the hotspots, which are addressed in the study through a number of recommendations. While the EU Hotspot Approach in itself is not a problem, the way that it is implemented is.

The study includes a more in-depth look into the Moria hotspot on the Greek island of Lesvos. It shows poor humanitarian standards with massive overcrowding. Current figures estimate a staggering 6250 asylum seekers and migrants currently residing in Moria, against a capacity of 1800. At the time of the study, only one latrine was functioning, water supplies were insufficient, and thousands of asylum seekers were living in tents.

The study also examines the role of the hotspot approach in the proposed reform of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) and the hotspot approach as a form of externalization and deterrence. DRC argues that – in particularly on the Greek islands – many of the current protection gaps and challenges are derived from the fact that the approach in its implementation constitute a shift away from a territorial reception towards a model of containment at the EU’s external borders coupled with policies of deterrence, not least due to its inter-linkage with the EU-Turkey deal in the Greek context.

Christian Friis Bach, Secretary General of the Danish Refugee Council, states that “the first priority must and should be the protection of people seeking safety from conflict and persecution. The current conditions in the hotspots are not acceptable and we must strengthen the effective and rights-sensitive reception, identification and registration in the hotspots. There must be access to legal assistance and asylum procedures in safe and dignified surroundings with adequate humanitarian standards.” He further underlines, that “the EU must find common solutions, and accept a fair share of the responsibility to provide international protection to those in need”.

The DRC recommendations and the future role of the EU hotspot approach were debated at a panel discussion in Brussels on Friday 10 November 2017 with relevant EU institutions, Member States, knowledge institutions and NGOs. The event allowed for timely discussion with key EU stakeholders in advance of the release of European Commission Guidelines for the implementation of the EU Hotspot Approach expected this week, and for highlighting the deteriorating situation on the Greek islands »

Read the full study ‘‘Fundamental rights and the EU hotspot approach’ here

Maryline Baumard , Dans les Alpes, auprès des migrants, «on va redescendre des cadavres, un de ces jours»,,| 16/12/2017

Au col de l’Echelle, des habitants viennent en aide aux migrants qui traversent la frontière enneigée au péril de leur vie.

« (…) De plus en plus souvent, ça se gâte avant d’atteindre Névache pour ces jeunes Africains ignorants de la montagne. Chef des urgences de l’hôpital de Briançon, un service qui en a déjà soigné 300 depuis l’été, Yann Fillet est monté deux fois au col le 10 décembre avec le peloton de gendarmerie de haute montagne (PGHM). La seconde fois, en pleine nuit, le médecin a cru halluciner quand il a aperçu « un des gamins pieds nus dehors alors que le thermomètre affichait – 10°».

Désormais, cela ne fait plus de doute pour lui, « on va redescendre des cadavres un de ces jours ». D’autres estiment qu’il y en a déjà sous la neige. Des morts de froid et d’épuisement. En ce lundi matin 11 décembre, la salle de surveillance des urgences sur laquelle M. Fillet veille compte six rescapés. Choqués mais saufs. « La mort a tourné autour de nous. Ça ne se raconte même pas, mais j’en ai encore froid dans le dos », susurre Madou, le regard vide. « Sans le villageois venu à notre secours, on ne serait plus là », complète celui qui dit avoir prié pour cette venue, « et comme dans le canot sur la Méditerranée, Dieu nous a entendus ». »  (…)


photo @Bruno Fert/Le Monde (ibidem) avec nos remerciements pour son aimable autorisation
voir aussi du même photographe :



Pietro Castelli Gattinara, The ‘refugee crisis’ in Italy as a crisis of legitimacy, Contemporary Italian Politics, Vol. 9, 2017/3, p.318-331


« The so-called ‘refugee crisis’ marks a crucial juncture in Italian politics. Tapping into the crisis of legitimacy of contemporary European politics, the controversy over migration has triggered discussion of socioeconomic, cultural and security issues. Pressured by public opinion, the EU and Italy have followed the logic of exceptionality, trying to put a halt to the inflow of asylum-seekers rather than pursuing the logic of normalcy that must apply to migration at a global level. Institutional and mainstream actors have mirrored public anxieties and security concerns, endorsing emergency narratives, aggressive policing and militarised border control. Unable to engage with citizens’ concerns, they have helped to conflate migration with insecurity, creating a fertile breeding ground for xenophobic, populist reactions. The paper suggests that the refugee crisis is best understood in relation to other ongoing crises in the EU, and that the way it is handled will have significant consequences for future action, shaping the way European societies cope with forthcoming crises and transforming the relationship between states and citizens. Accordingly, it argues that the permanent state of emergency characterising governmental responses so far does not bode well for the future of liberal democracy in Europe. »

Pietro Castelli Gattinara is research fellow in political science and sociology at the Centre on Social Movement Studies, Scuola Normale Superiore, Florence. His research in comparative politics focuses on the far right and migration in Europe. He obtained his PhD at the European University Institute in Florence, with a dissertation on party competition on migration, and he is currently engaged in a comparative research project on collective action during the refugee crisis, focusing on anti-immigration mobilisation in Italy and France. He recently published The Politics of Migration in Italy (Routledge, 2016). His work has appeared in several international peer-reviewed journals and edited volumes. From November 2017, he will join the Centre for Research on Extremism of the University of Oslo.