About This Book
When the Berlin Wall crumbled in 1989, a euphoric continent hailed the advent of a new ‘borderless’ Europe in which such barriers would become obsolete. More than twenty-five years later, in the midst of the continent’s worst refugee crisis since World War II, European governments have enacted the most sustained and far-reaching border enforcement programme in history. Detention and deportation, physical and bureaucratic barriers, naval patrols and satellite technologies: all these have been part of Europe’s undeclared ‘war’ against undocumented immigration.
These efforts have generated a tragic confrontation between some of the richest countries in the world and a stateless population from the poorest. The human consequences of that confrontation have become impossible to ignore, as migrants drown in unprecedented numbers in the Mediterranean or find themselves trapped in chokepoints like Calais, Hungary and Greece. As Europe’s leaders argue among themselves, the continent’s ‘hard borders’ are breaking down and it is increasingly unclear what will replace them.
Fortress Europe, published here in a revised and updated edition, is an urgent investigation into Europe’s militarised borders. In a series of searing dispatches, Carr speaks to border officers and police, officials, migrants, asylum-seekers and activists from across the continent in a unique and ground-breaking critique of an epic political, institutional and humanitarian failure that now threatens the future of the European Union itself.