A family of Syrian refugees.
  Syrian refugees are removed from the back of a truck in Varna, Bulgaria. One man was shot dead while trying to enter the country from Turkey. Photograph: REX Shutterstock

A serious incident bound to repeat itself

16 October, 2015

A refugee shot dead at a border by a European police officer is a very distressing piece of news, even if it results from the law of (ever so foreseeable) “unintended consequences”. It is to the credit of Europeans that this hasn’t happened before.

But let’s be honest: this is only an addition to the heavy death toll that has resulted from prohibition policies preventing migrants to access the EU and thus pushing them to use smuggling rings and clandestine routes. This death has happened because anti-immigration nationalist populist rhetoric is allowed to dominate the public debate in most EU countries and because closure and repression are announced as the ultimate collective goals of the EU, as exemplified by the recent EU-Turkey agreement.

Unfortunately, this “serious incident” is bound to repeat itself if European politicians do not change their policy objectives and their repressive practices at borders.

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