Closing Gates to Refugees: The Causes and Effects of the 2015 “Migration Crisis” on Border Management in Hungary and Poland

Witold Klaus

ORCID: Witold Klaus: 0000-0003-2306-1140

Pages: 11-34

Edition: Lublin 2017

DOI: --

Citation method: W. Klaus, ‘Closing Gates to Refugees: The Causes and Effects of the 2015 “Migration Crisis” on Border Management in Hungary and Poland’, Yearbook of the Institute of East-Central Europe, Vol. 15, No. 3, 2017, pp. 11-34.

Abstract: In this paper, I demonstrate the process of treating asylum seekers and refugees as a dangerous enemy. Those two groups of immigrants find themselves at the receiving end of measures that infringe basic humanitarian laws and human rights, and are so inhumane that no one would ever dare to introduce them on their own citizens. Equating refugees with terrorists and prioritizing security constitute two pillars of the ruling parties’ policy in Poland and Hungary. Apart from technical security measures (like fences), both governments adopt additional instruments to discourage migrants from coming or encourage them to leave (like creating obstacles to let them onto the territory of the country, refusing to grant them international protection, making their integration difficult or almost impossible). Such activity fulfils the definition of “Fortress Europe”, which is not only about building stone walls or fences but about increasing control of every aspect of migrants’ lives as well.


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