Talk: “Bordering Others: The Involvement of European Actors on the Tunisia-Libya Border,” Dr. Federica Bicchi (London School of Economics), A-130, 12:30PM September 24 (EN)

Assoc. Prof. Dr. Federica Bicchi, Department of International Relations,London School of Economics

Tuesday, September 24, 2019, 12:30 p.m.
FEASS Building, A-130

A paradigm shift has taken place in Europe’s relations with its Southern Mediterranean neighbours: while for long the Barcelona Process relied on strengthening economic ties, now the emphasis is on stemming migration flows and fighting terrorism, in an attempt to de facto disconnect Europe from North Africa. A key instrument in this strategy is Europe’s contribution towards hard borders in their neighbourhood. The Tunisia-Libya border is a case in point. At the request of the Tunisian government, Germany started to help in the construction of a hard border, equipping it with electronic devices thanks also to a novel form of cooperation with the United States. As a result, all traffic is
conveyed through two crossing points, in an attempt to formalise the cross-border traffic that for millennia roamed freely across the area. This example invites a discussion of how hard borders can contribute to security and stability in the Mediterranean.

Federica Bicchi is Associate Professor in International Relations of Europe at the Department of International Relations, London School of Economics, as well as part-time professor in the Robert Schuman Centre of the European University Institute in Florence. Her research interests centre on European foreign policy towards its Southern neighbourhood and the Arab-Israeli conflict in particular. She has published inter alia European Foreign Policy Making towards the Mediterranean (Palgrave,
2007), as well as edited The Union for the Mediterranean: Continuity or Change in Euro-Mediterranean Relations? (with Richard Gillespie 2012, Palgrave), The Struggle for Influence in the Middle East (with Benoit Challand and Steven Heydeman, 2015, Palgrave), and European Diplomatic Practices: Contemporary Challenges and Innovative Approaches (with Niklas Bremberg, Routledge, 2017).