Migration and the management of the external border: EU and US policies compared

Belgium, Brussels, 1000, Wilfried Martens Centre for European Studies
Tuesday, February 28 2017 / 12:30

In Europe and the US, immigration and border control are high on the agenda. In the EU, an uncontrolled irregular inflow of refugees and immigrants dramatically increased in the summer of 2015, then subsided thanks to a deal that the EU concluded with Turkey. The chaos surrounding the arrival of so many immigrants resulted from a breakdown of national and EU asylum systems and failures in external border management.

In the US, a deal concluded by former President Obama made it much easier to return Cuban immigrants to their country. Newly elected President Trump is controversially planning to ‘build a wall’ on the Mexican border. Trump’s executive order, now suspended, temporarily banned citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries from entering the US.

Our seminar will ask how the EU and the US could improve the management of their external borders and what they could learn from each other. Will the new EU Border and Coast Guard agency that replaced Frontex make a difference?  Can the EU learn from the US-Cuban deal and can the US learn from the EU-Turkey deal? What is the role of EU bodies and the US federal government in search and rescue missions on the sea? Under which circumstances are pushbacks of migrants on the sea allowed?