New Narratives from the EU External Border – Humane Refoulement? Bastian Vollmer


This article discusses changes in the discourse and practice of the EU external border. Findings of a small-scale research project looking at UNHCR’S Border Management and Protection of Refugees (BMPR) programme will discuss developments taking place at the EU external border and will show a new kind of narrative. Institutional cooperation, access to territory and compliance with the principle of non-refoulement seem to have improved. A more empathetic narrative of border security has found its way into institutions of enforcement authorities that primarily follow their mandate of protecting the state’s border and territory. This new narrative is, however, highly politicised and institutionally driven. By taking a more critical view, I introduce the concept of humane refoulement towards the end of the article describing the consequences of this new narrative and denoting it as hypocritical in its nature.


Vollmer, B. (2016) New Narratives from the EU External Border – Humane Refoulement? Geopolitics, DOI:10.1080/14650045.2016.1154843


Asylum and RefugeesBorders