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Contain, Distribute, Obstruct. Governing the Mobility of Asylum Seekers in the European Union

Project description

Hotspots, relocation and secondary movements

In the aftermath of the 'refugee crisis' of 2015, the European Union and its Member States intensified their efforts to control the mobility of incoming migrants. This resulted in the introduction of the 'hotspot approach', the implementation of relocation schemes and the reintroduction of border controls at some border points within the Schengen area. The EU-funded CONDISOBS project examines these measures through a multi-sited qualitative study based on semi-structured interviews with institutional actors, non-governmental organisations and migrants. CONDISOBS aims to understand whether hotspots, relocation schemes and internal border controls have succeeded in discouraging secondary movements in the European context. It will provide a unique, comprehensive and empirically-grounded analysis of the policies targeting asylum seekers in the EU.


CONDISOBS aims to strengthen the professional profile of the researcher through the design, management and implementation of an individual research project, as well as through advanced training in research methods and transferable skills. The project will provide a unique and comprehensive analysis of the three key measures that were undertaken after the “refugee crisis” to govern asylum seekers’ mobility in the EU, which is to say hotspots, relocation, and border controls. More specifically, it aims to understand whether hotspots have succeeded in containing incoming migrants in the first country of entry and whether relocation schemes and the strengthening of border controls have reduced “secondary movements” of asylum seekers within the EU. This will be achieved through an extensive, multi-sited qualitative study focusing on three aspects. The first concerns the functioning of hotspots in Greece and Italy and their ability to register all incoming migrants and channel them to the relevant administrative procedure. The second relates to the practical difficulties encountered by Greek and Italian authorities to relocate people, as well as the trajectories of those who were relocated to Luxembourg and Lithuania. The third deals with the effects of the reintroduction of border controls in three strategic border points that are commonly used by migrants to leave Italy (Bardonecchia, Brenner, and Ventimiglia). With its findings, the study will contribute to current debates on the reform of the Common European Asylum System by providing policy recommendations based on solid empirical evidence, which will be communicated through a comprehensive dissemination plan targeting both academic and non-academic audiences. Thanks to its manifold focus on research, training, project management and dissemination, CONDISOBS will thus represent a key stage in the career of the researcher, while also broadening the research base and networking opportunities of the host institution.


Net EU contribution
€ 166 320,00

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Luxembourg Luxembourg Luxembourg
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 166 320,00