People caught in the middle

Another EU border strategy is so-called externalisation, i.e. the outsourcing of migration controls to third countries. Countries that take over for the EU migration control measures use this to negotiate economic support or to push through other interests.

In 2021, a diplomatic conflict between Spain and Morocco showed how agreements can also be broken as a means of exerting pressure. Morocco temporarily suspended border controls to Melilla and its sister exclave Ceuta. This resulted in a large influx of people to the two Spanish cities. In the same year in Belarus, in response to economic sanctions, people fleeing were deliberately brought to the border with Poland in order to put pressure on the EU. In the context of such power games, migrants are regularly caught in the middle of conflicts between different interest parties.