Chapter 24. Migration Crisis and National Security: Emergency Response in Eastern Mediterranean


Seretidis Christos¹, MD and Michail Chalaris², MA, PhD
¹MSc in Analysis and Management of Manmade and Natural disasters, International Hellenic University – Hellenic Fire Academy, Greece
²Department of Chemistry, International Hellenic University, Kavala, Greece

Part of the book: The Challenges of Disaster Planning, Management, and Resilience


The largest population movements occurred in the 20th century or otherwise the 20th was considered the century of migration, as it has been characterized, due to these massive volumes of movements as well as for the radical changes in their compositions that took place peacefully or violently. (Tsaoussis 2004, 238; Amitsēs and Lazaridis 2001, 258; Seretidis 2021). The migration flows of the 20th century were mainly due to the “push factor” of industrialization, wars, geostrategic and geopolitical interests, religious or political persecution or an economic collapse, as well as several humanitarian crises around the world, so it took the main irregularity that for the first time turned the first reception countries of the European South, such as Greece, into reception countries for refugees and immigrants unannounced, unexpected and sudden (Seretidis 2021; Antonopoulos and Winterdyk 2006; Green, Nancy L. 2002, 114–15). Some newer academics and researchers believe a lot in “pull” factors and in the influx of immigrants from countries that, due to internal need, accept immigrants to cover their workforce in their industry. The goal of a successful European integration has monopolized efforts in general without any particular concern in tackling illegal or irregular immigration. Greece, as it is known, due to its geopolitical position, found itself in the heart of the immigration crisis without any special preparation and with obvious deficiencies in personnel and infrastructure (Seretidis 2021). Greece is a country where the long sea borders are also the external borders of the European Union; its land borders reach 1,248 km, its coastline reaches a perimeter of 18,400 km and its territorial waters reach 8,670 km. Considering all Greek and European external borders and of course the 9,000 rocky islets and the Greek islands, it is reasonable to say that Greece protects and monitors, as much as possible, just over 30% of the EU external borders (Seretidis 2021). The specific and special nature of the long Greek borders that characterizes them from one end to the other of the Greek territory, makes them “special” borders due to the increasing cases of irregular migration (Karydis 1996, 17; Seretidis 2021) and with increased risks of organized cross-border crime due to neighboring countries, which are countries with increased economic, political and social problems. Weaknesses of surveillance, due to the factors mentioned above, favor illegal or illegal immigration as well as organized crime in all its forms. Under certain circumstances and when facilitated by neighboring countries or instigated by terrorist organizations, it can be characterized as an “asymmetric threat” to the country or as a modern “hybrid threat” which seek ways of management and immediate response.(Higher Interbranch School of War 2014; Seretidis 2021). The European Union, seeing the dangers mentioned above, has proceeded to develop its technology and expertise using new innovative practices in land and sea border surveillance. This aims to improve the management of critical information in the “real time” on the field, as required by the evolution of crimes and their practices. The adoption of new technologies in security and border surveillance was a move that significantly helped the security sector as well as the reduction of human deaths in the waters of the Aegean (Christos Seretidis, Dimitrios Billios, and Michail Chalaris 2020).

Keywords: illegal immigration, migration crisis, security, new technologies, UAVs, Poseidon system, WiMAAS, Smart Buoys, border surveillance


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