Human blacklisting: The global apartheid of the EU’s external border regime.

Over the last few years, the global face of the EU has been changing. The EU is spinning a global border web with regard to the battle against irregular migration. At the borders of the EU, a powerful and security-obsessed distinction between travellers is increasingly being constructed between the travellers who ‘belong to’ the EU and those who do not, based on the fate of birth. To this end, the EU has composed a so-called ‘white and black’ Schengen list, recently relabelled a ‘positive and negative’ list, which is used as a criterion for visa applications. What is striking is that on the negative list a significantly high number of Muslim and developing states are listed. Hence, there is an implicit, strong inclination to use this list not only as a tool to guarantee security in physical terms or in terms of ‘Western’ identity protection but also as a means of keeping the world’s poorest out. Such global apartheid geopolitics—loaded with rhetoric on selective access, burden, and masses—provokes the dehumanisation and illegalisation of the travel of those who were born in what the EU has defined as the ‘wrong country’, the wastable and deportable lives from countries on the negative list. Such unauthorised travelling is increasingly dangerous as the high death toll suggests. It has led to a new and yet all too familiar geopolitical landscape in Europe, a scene many of us hope to never see again in postwar Europe, a landscape of barbed wire surveillance and camps. And hence, the EU—which started out as a means to produce a zone of peace and comfort ruled by law and order—has now in its self-proclaimed war on illegal migrants created a border industry that coconstructs more, not less, ‘illegality’, xenophobia, and fear: the EU as a global border machine.

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