Theme: Europe’s internal and external borders

The new European borders
by Anja Lederer and Heiner Busch
For the construction of the EU state, which is being sold as an „area of freedom, security and justice“, the border policy and „fight against illegal migration“ plays a crucial role. Protection of the external borders still lies within the jurisdiction of the member states, but the technically highly-equipped external border systems have long since been harmonised at the European level. Parallel to this, new borders have arisen inland.

Frontex – a networking machine
by Christoph Marischka
The EU border agency Frontex has no executive powers of its own; its power derives above all from its coordination and networking function towards national, European and international authorities and organisations which are involved in protecting the external borders in the widest sense. Military bodies also form part of the system. Frontex becomes operatively effective by organizing border surveillance operations, for which the agency can now supply Rapid Border intervention teams (RABITs), and coordinating deportations, in which a number of states are involved.

Megalomania: the EU Commission’s border package
by Heiner Busch
Presented in February 2008, the Commission’s communications and working documents cover some 350 pages: the package seeks greater powers for the border agency Frontex, a surveillance system (also using satellites and unmanned aircraft) for the green and blue external borders, and even more biometrics at border checks.

Extra-territorial camps in Libya and the Ukraine
by Christopher Nsoh
In buffer states such as Libya and the Ukraine, a system of camps has existed for years, which is designed to obstruct the passage of refugees and migrants into the EU. Cut off from the outside world, these refugees and migrants, subjected to the arbitrary violence of soldiers or the police, are held captive in hopelessly overcrowded cells.

Bramsche Deportation Camp
by Tobias Pieper
The largest German deportation camp, Bramsche (Lower Saxony), is the model for the so-called departure centres: With a cleverly-devised system of reward and punishment, the asylum-seekers held here are to be persuaded to cooperate with the authorities and depart ‚freely‘.

Our visiting card: the German and EU visa policies
by Mark Holzberger
Germany has tightened its visa-issuing practice. To „combat visa abuse“, humanitarian measures to facilitate visits by relatives have been withdrawn. Police authorities have been given greater powers in visa procedures. Germany is also preparing itself for the introduction of the EU-visa information system and biometric data collection.

Illegal Immigration Analysis and Strategy Centre (GASIM)
by Mark Holzberger
In this centre the Federal Police, security services and Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, among others, collate information and seek to coordinate their efforts to combat irregular migration.

Dragnet controls – border controls inland
by Albrecht Maurer and Martina Kant
After an „evaluation“ by the Federal Ministry of the Interior in 2007, the Bundestag confirmed the powers of the Federal Police (formerly: Federal Border Guard) to conduct stops and searches without any suspicions. The five years limitation, originally included in the law and renewed in 2003, was abolished. The so called dragnet control, the Federal Police as well as most of the Länder police forces, established a model of control inland, which traditionally was only allowed at the borders.

Non-thematic contributions:

Prosecution controlled by the secret service
by Martin Beck
In few occasions has it been so clear that the internal security service (Verfassungsschutz) is heavily involved in criminal investigations against „terrorist organisations“ according to § 129a of the German Criminal Code. On 9 May 2007, the Federal Prosecutor’s Office and Federal Criminal Police Authority attracted much public attention, by ordering raids in Berlin, Hamburg and other cities in the course of their investigation against a „militant campaign against the G8 summit“, which was to be held four weeks later in Heiligendamm. The case was formally opened at the beginning of 2006. But years before, the „Verfassungsschutz“ had already begun its constant surveillance of those later accused.

Switzerland prepares for the Euro 08
by Reto Moosmann
The European Football Championship will be held in Switzerland and Austria in June of this year. In Switzerland alone, between forty and fifty thousand members of the police forces, private security services, state security, border control and army will be in action.

The SIS as an instrument of surveillance
by Ben Hayes
According to a report by the Joint Supervisory Authority of December 2007, some 33,000 persons were registered in the Schengen Information System (SIS) with an alert for „discreet surveillance“ according to Article 99 of the Schengen Agreement. 83 per cent of these alerts came from France and Italy.