European Border Communities provides an overview of interdisciplinary research on the dynamics, challenges and effects of cross border mobilities and the management thereof. The research is carried out by researchers of the Van Vollenhoven Institute for Law, Government & Society, together with affiliated scholars. European Border Communities is a hub for various research projects within Leiden Law School relating to migration, crime and border management and is intended to facilitate communication with a larger audience of scholars, practitioners, and interested members of the public

The word “communities” is used in various ways throughout the different projects. It refers to communities of policymakers and legislators dealing with migration and border issues, communities of state and non-state agencies working in border areas, and immigrant and non-immigrant communities residing in border areas.

The main project that is currently displayed at the website is Getting to the Core of Crimmigration. Assessing the role of discretion in managing intra-Schengen cross-border mobility, a 5-year research project coordinated by Border Criminologies member prof. dr. Maartje van der Woude. The project got funded through the prestigious VIDI scheme of the Netherlands Organisation for Scientific Research. This project is being carried out in cooperation with prof. dr. Helene Gundhus, University of Oslo, and dr. Alpa Parmar, University of Oxford.

This project is driven by growing concerns among academics and NGOs, but also practitioners and citizens, regarding the merger of crime control and immigration control, also known as “crimmigration.” It aims to address the question to what extent this process of crimmigration is different in various Schengen country when looking at the way in which these countries are monitoring and controlling cross border mobility in an area where, following the Schengen aquis, no borders should exist. To what extent can these differences be explained by the way in which state and non-state actors in these countries are making use of formal and informal discretion and power structures to guide their response to cross border mobility?

By means of a multi-sited, multi-level, multi-method design, this unique research project aims to contribute to current debates on intra-Schengen cross border mobilities. It does so by shedding light on both the perspectives and practices of law enforcement officials in charge of cross-border management, and on the perspectives and actions taken by those who live in local border communities.

Supported by NWO and Leiden Law School

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