This paper examines the first deployment of the Rapid Border Intervention Teams (RABITs) to Greece’s external land border with Turkey on 2 November 2010. It argues that the sending of the RABITs to Greece reveals some of the core challenges inherent in Europe’s external border and asylum policies. Most importantly, it signals the limits of the principle of solidarity and fair-sharing of responsibility and the failure of the EU Dublin System. The paper argues that the sending of RABITs fails to show a long-standing (solidarity-based) answer by the EU to the situation of unrest taking place in Greece on two grounds: First, the deployment is merely of a emergency, temporary and (in)security (police)-driven nature; and second, the strengthening of the common EU external land border between Greece and Turkey may further increase the tensions by enlarging the distance between the external border control practices and Europe’s commitment to the rights and freedoms of asylum-seekers and refugees.
Sergio Carrera is Head of Section and Research Fellow at CEPS and Visiting Lecturer at the University of Kent (Brussels). Elspeth Guild is Jean Monnet Professor of European Migration Law at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, partner at the London law firm Kingsley Napley and Senior Research Fellow at CEPS.