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Containing the Refugee Crisis: How the EU Turned the Balkans and Turkey into an EU Borderland


The events that took place during the 2015-16 refugee crisis in the southeastern EU region boosted unprecedented bordering processes. Borders were reinforced and extended and a costly and difficult deal with Turkey was undertaken; the western Balkans were turned into a vast buffer zone made up of multiple buffer states with fences of all types and sizes; while Greece was ring-fenced and to this day struggles to manage thousands of refugees stranded in camps all over its territory. By seeking to contain the refugee flows, the EU turned its southeastern region into a fortified EU borderland.
Keywords: Borderlands, buffer zone, Balkans, refugee crisis, migration, Fortress Europe