Controlling irregular immigration at the European Union’s southern maritime border. An emerging system driven by “migration emergencies"
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Over the last 25 years the southern maritime border of the European Union witnessed the interaction of considerable and increasingly complex irregular migration flows in the Mediterranean with the progressive construction and implementation of restrictive migration control policies by the European Union and its member states at their external borders. The article describes the evolving migration patterns and changes in migration routes both as a stimulus and as consequence of locally stepping up migration control at the emerging hotspots at different parts of the border, creating deviation effects in migration routes with alternative points of entry and higher costs and risks for migrants. Special attention is given to the impact of the 2015 refugee crisis on border management and the new challenges it poses to the asylum system and the protection of fundamental rights.