| Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy

New research programme: Crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat

MigrationphotoWhile migrant deaths en route to the European Union are by no means new, the level and intensity of recent tragedies is unprecedented. More than 1850 deaths were recorded January-May 2015, demanding swift action on the part of EU Member States. This project produces a timely and robust evidence base as grounds for informing policy interventions developed under emergency conditions across the Mediterranean. It does so by assessing the impact of such interventions on those that they affect most directly: migrants or refugees themselves. This project undertakes such an assessment by engaging the journeys and experiences of people migrating, asking:

  • What are the impacts of policy interventions on migratory journeys and experiences across the Mediterranean?
  • How do refugees or migrants negotiate complex and entwined migratory and regulatory dynamics?
  • In what ways can policy be re-shaped to address migrant deaths at sea?

The project focuses on three EU island arrival points in Greece, Italy and Malta.

Qualitative interview data, both textual and visual, is produced through an interdisciplinary participatory research approach.

The project contributes: an interdisciplinary perspective on the legal and social implications of policy interventions in the region; a comparative perspective on migratory routes and methods of travel across the Mediterranean; a qualitative analysis of the journeys and experiences of refugees and migrants; and methodological insights into participatory research under emergency conditions.

The specific objectives of the project are:

1. To document and map the experiences and journeys of refugees and migrants crossing the Mediterranean Sea by boat, focusing on key EU island arrival points in Greece, Italy, and Malta.

2. To identify the impact of emergency and longer-term policy interventions on migratory experiences and journeys across each of these sites, focusing in particular on recent developments in search and rescue, anti-smuggling, and preventative mechanisms.

3. To provide up-to-date findings and analyses that intervene in academic and public debates and that inform policy developments and practitioner responses on the basis of a methodologically and ethically sound evidence base.

4. To carry out research that engages refugees and migrants as producers of knowledge, rather than as objects of analysis.

5. To produce research that is of value to wide-ranging beneficiaries (policy-makers, practitioners, civil society groups, media and cultural outlets, and researchers), through the dissemination of diverse and accessible outputs (briefings, reports, blogs, forums, reflective articles, a visual map and exhibition, as well as journal articles) and

6. To evaluate the effectiveness of the research methodologies and dissemination strategies used throughout the course of the project.

The project was awarded to the University of Warwick and PI Associate Professor Vicki Squire (PaIS, Warwick); Co-Is Dr Dallal Stevens (Law, Warwick), Professor Nick Vaughan-Williams (PaIS, Warwick), Dr.Angeliki Dimitriadi (ELIAMEP) and Dr.Maria Pisani (University of Malta). The Research Assistant for Greece is Skerlida Agoli.

Project partners:

University of Warwick

Hellenic Foundation for European and Foreign Policy

University of Malta

For more information on the project you can visit the website https://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/pais/research/clusters/irs/crossingthemed/

Or email

Angeliki Dimitriadi (angeliki@eliamep.gr)

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