What can the EU’s Hotspot approach to migration tell us about the impact of infrastructure on migration management?



Not all European countries face migration issues to the same extent. In virtue of their geography, the countries located at the EUs external border simply face more migratory pressures. This is why some European agencies started working on the ground with the frontline EU member states, these practices evolving into the “Hotspot approach”. The project investigates the new infrastructure created under this approach and how it compares to the previous infrastructure. The goal is to to develop a new framework for the analysis of infrastructure in migration management.

The research questions defined for getting a comprehensive outlook on this issue are as follows:

– How does the hotspot facility, as infrastructure space, enable migration management and transform the Mediterranean borderscape?

– How does this infrastructure space (re)shape relations between states, citizens and noncitizens?  

The method chosen for this investigation is three-pronged: ethnographic research in the countries under examination, document analysis referring to the Hotspot approach, and mapping and visual analysis of the objects of study. 


Project Keywords

  • Migration
  • Infrastructure
  • Mediterranean
  • European Union
  • Hotspots
  • Border


  • Political Science
  • Sociology
  • Architecture


International Organizations

  • IOM

NGOs, States or other institutions

  • Borderline Lesvos, Greece
  • Apulious Foundation, Greece
  • MitMülteci-Der, Turkey

Relevant Countries

  • Greece
  • Italy
  • Tunisia
  • Turkey


This is an ongoing project, which started in autumn 2018. The information here is updated regularly. If you have any inquiries please don’t hesitate to contact the project team via the form below.

Contact the project team

4 + 14 =

Research team

Bilgin Ayata
University of Basel

Kenny Cupers
University of Basel

Chiara Pagano
Principal Member
University of Pavia


Artemis-Maria Fyssa
Principal Member

Alaa Dia
Principal Member
Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule, Zurich