Same „Game“, Different Borders
Romania as part of the Balkan route and possible further focal point of European migration policy
Recently, media attention focused on the increasingly precarious situation at the European Union’s external borders in the Mediterranean area. Yet, the dilemma of Europe’s migration policy is found at the Union’s Eastern borders as well. Once again, reception centres are overwhelmed. Once again, many migrants seek to avoid registration to be able to continue their journey to particular EU member states, such as France or Germany. Many seek shelter in abandoned houses and vacant buildings which lack access to clean water, electricity, and heating. And once again, migrants attempt to cross the frontier eluding border guards. This situation is indeed not new. It stood in the focus of attention in Bosnia and Herzegovina, especially in last year’s winter.
But this time the "game", that is, the repeated attempt to cross the border unrecognised, is not only taking place at the notorious borders like the Bosnian one. The "game," as the migrants themselves call it when they repeatedly try to cross the border illegally until they succeed, has shifted. While the so-called Balkan route used to run mainly through Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Croatia and Hungary, now Romania has become part of the route. Why has Romania become another stop of the "Game" now?