Since the moment the Schengen Treaty entered into force in 1995 the development of common approaches toward the entry and stay of third nationals has increasingly evolved into a priority in both EU institutions and member states. The progressive enlargement of the European Union towards the east implicitly increased control at the Southern gates and transformed the entire Mediterranean and Maghreb into the last frontier of Europe. What are the implications of such shifts in policy and conduct for the territory and identity of the European Union? Relying on the difference between strategy and tactic outlined by De Certau, I maintain in this paper that how Europe is configured is largely conditioned by the interaction between strategies of migration control and tactics of resistance. One of the sites where this occurs is the Italian island of Lampedusa. Closer to Tunisia than to Sicily, Lampedusa has been in the past ten years the fulcrum of the European management of migration flows from Africa. It has been referred to both as the advanced extreme of two continents and also as the most southern European outpost. Is Lampedusa just the appendix of Europe or the Trojan horse of new hordes at the gates of the Fortress? In many ways, the ambiguous position of this island makes it a central site in which to investigate the implementation of migration control and the effects it has on the process of Europeanization.
Lorenzo Rinelli teaches undergraduate courses within the Department of Political Science at the University of Hawaii at Manoa where he is PhD candidate. His dissertation deals with the practice of externalization of European migration control in the Mediterranean Sea and Maghreb and the role of Libya in it.