Belgrade, the 11th of May 2017: The day that the squatted warehouses behind the Busstation in Belgrade, commonly named as “barracks” were evicted and demolished. This eviction and demolition did not happen out of the blue but falls in line with a number of other developments in the Serbian immigration policy and the adaption of practices of neighbored states on Serbian territory. Therefore, this article aims at reporting on the eviction and demolition of the migrant squat in Belgrade and by doing so, reviewing these policies and practices in a broader frame of political developments. Just as the existence of the barracks is strongly connected to the restabilization of the European Border Regime, the demolition of the same is something that cannot be seen isolated from a broader international frame. In the following, I will outline the occupation of the warehouses as a consequence of tightening borders in the north (1), the situation in the barracks during winter until May 2017 (2), the chronology of the eviction (3), the psychological strategies that were used in the eviction (4) and expectations for further developments in Serbia in general, and Belgrade in particular (5).
Seit einigen Wochen gibt es einen wahren journalistischen Hype um die alten Lagerhallen direkt hinter dem Belgrader Bahnhof. Auf etlichen Bildern , in Artikeln  und in Videos  wurden die Gegebenheiten dokumentiert, unter denen dort etwa 1.000 Geflüchtete – fast ausschließlich Männer, darunter auch viele Minderjährige – seit Wochen und Monaten ausharren. Anfang Februar 2017 reiste auch bordermonitoring.eu wieder nach Serbien. Weniger um ebenfalls die mittlerweile „berühmten“ Lagerhallen zu besuchen, sondern vielmehr, um einerseits einige der anderen Orte zu besuchen, die von Relevanz im gegenwärtigen serbischen Migrationsregime sind. Andererseits aber auch, um zu sehen und zu verstehen, ob bzw. in welcher Form sich die Situation vor Ort seit den Recherchen (im Sommer 2016) für unseren letzten Bericht Governing the Balkan Route: Macedonia, Serbia and the European Border Regime verändert hat.
The growth and development of transit migration along the Balkan route in 2015 and 2016 highlighted the major role Macedonia and Serbia played, not merely as the main countries of passage, but as important buffer areas within the framework of the European border regime. This research paper first examines the development and transformations of Macedonian and Serbian national migration policies and legislation in the past two decades in the light of the EU accession process. It identifies the key historical and geopolitical factors that significantly shaped them, as well as the distinct strategies the two countries pursued in coping with often countervailing EU demands, local socio-political considerations and actual migration movements and practices. The paper proceeds to analyze the gradual establishment of a formalized corridor through the Balkans by tracing the ways in which Macedonia and Serbia strategically positioned themselves in how they governed the transit migration through their territory, dynamically shifting between humanitarianism and securitization throughout the time before the formalized corridor emerged, during its existence, in the process of its closure, and after it was shut down.
Beim EU-Gipfel am 18./19. Februar wird die “Bewältigung der Flüchtlingskrise” weiter im Mittelpunkt stehen. Der Joint Action Plan mit der Türkei und der Druck auf Griechenland zur besseren Zusammenarbeit hat noch nicht die erwünschte Wirkung gezeigt. Zwar spricht die Kommission in ihrer am 10.2. veröffentlichten Bestandsaufnahme über die Implementierung der im Dezember beschlossenen Maßnahmen von “großen Erfolgen”. Außer der Steigerung der Registrierungszahlen und abgenommenen Fingerabdrücke in Italien und Griechenland, bestätigt der Bericht jedoch eher eine stockende Umsetzung und wenig politischen Willen der Mitgliedsstaaten.
Article by Mathias Fiedler, Photos by Charlotte Schmitz
The EU is more than ever before eager to collaborate with Turkey and both “partners“ agreed on a “joint action plan” . Turkey, being the most important transit country to Europe, is one of the “focal points of the EU’s externalization strategy” and the EU promised three Billion EUR for the reception of refugees. But while the EU-countries still are in disagreement on how to raise that sum, Erdoğan already stated that this amount of money won’t be enough anyway. However, the closer EU-Turkey collaboration has already had negative effects for refugees in Turkey: Refugee rights organizations stated that “more detention“ and “less reception” was one of the first consequences of the agreement .
The long summer of migration has turned into winter. During the first half of 2015, migratory movements opened new ways across the borders of Europe, from the Turkish coasts over the Balkans to Northern Europe. Migration through the Balkans is not a new phenomenon: people denied access to legal routes across borders have long forged their own paths through the region. However, the so-called ‚humanitarian corridor‘, which formed in the interplay of the new paths forged by autonomous movements and governmental responses, began channelling refugees arriving from Turkey on the Greek islands on a state-controlled route over the Balkans to Northern Europe. The paradoxical ‘humanitarian corridor’ developed into a temporary passageway of free movement on the one hand, which has to be seen as a victory, but on the other hand the route quickly became heavily state and police controlled.
Ein Foto-Essay von Kaveh Rostamkhani mit einem Beitrag von Marc Speer (4.12.2015)
Der „lange Sommer der Migration“ auf dem Balkan ist zugleich Resultat und treibende Kraft hinter etlichen Brüchen. Was passiert, wenn staatliche Kontrollbestrebungen und migrantische Mobilitätsstrategien zusammentreffen und etwas Neues entstehen lassen.
When we heard about the decision of Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Macedonia on the 18 th of November to only give access to those coming from either Syria, Iraq or Afghanistan and after getting
reports of the worsening situation at the Greek-Macedonian border, we decided to leave Belgrade heading for Idomeni where at the time of writing at least between 1000 and 2000 migrants are
For those coming by boat from Ayvalık, Turkey, the first thing they might see of Europe is an orange life vest waved at the Greek shore: life vests left behind from those who arrived before them, used as wigwag signals by self-organised helpers. If the arrivals manage to head for such a place, they will find some basic assistance with landing as well as some food, tea, and clothes. Some can’t wait to leave the vessels, even if they get wet. The general feeling of overwhelming relief to be on European soil seems to outweigh the exertions, even if helpers (mostly referred to as “volunteers”) say they often receive people suffering from hypothermia, apathy and weakness, showing signs of trauma. Much has been reported recently about the situation in Lesbos and the nearby island of Chios, where thousands of refugees land each week; and much has been written on the risky passage from Turkey to Greece as a whole. The Empty Cage. Lesbos Arrivals, Turkish Smugglers and EU Migration Politics weiterlesen →
politiken, praktiken, ereignisse an den grenzen europas