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 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, in cooperation with prof. dr. Helene Gundhus, University of Oslo, and dr. Alpa Parmar, University of Oxford. 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.

Maartje also coordinates the project Dealing with Human Trafficking and Human Smuggling in intra-Schengen Border Areas: Enhancing compassion by uncovering the fifty shades of grey. Since the start of the Schengen Agreement the right to free movement of people in the Schengen area is a source of both challenges and opportunities. This socio-legal research project addresses the blurring of boundaries between the phenomena of human smuggling and human trafficking. To which extent is this distinction accurate in practice? Does such a dichotomy help in raising awareness and compassion of the different forms of human smuggling and human trafficking? The research will be focused on how both phenomena are dealt with and perceived in the context of intra-Schengen cross-border mobility, more specifically in the Spanish/French and French/Belgian border regions.