Migration: tales of brutality along Europe’s borders

Erika Solomon, Financial Times, 29 March 2020 - When Ibrahim was caught on the Romanian side of the border with Serbia, he and his fellow asylum-seekers thought they were lucky. The guards smiled, and promised to take them to the closest city to request asylum. Instead, they drove the migrants back into the Serbian forest, donned masks and beat them with batons before speeding away. [...]

"These research projects are used to test aggressive new ideas," says Mark Akkerman, from the Dutch anti-arms trade campaign Stop Wapenhandel, who researches EU border fortifications for Transnational Institute (TNI), an advocacy group. "[This will] fuel the cycle of militarisation of the borders and the use of ever more draconian methods to do so." The European Commission has poured money into Frontex, whose annual budget is now €420m, a more than 34 per cent rise from 2019. Its budget was just €6m in 2005. TNI argues such funding contributes to Europe's militarisation, increasing the purchase of surveillance equipment and weaponry and, soon, troops. [...]