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The European Dream - A continent is sealing itself off

June 3, 2024

There’s hardly a more divisive topic in Europe than the issue of immigration. When the refugee crisis began in 2015, the EU welcomed many with open arms. Now, tightened borders have become the norm.


This documentary by Julia Rech and Ulf Röller accompanies EU Home Affairs minister Ylva Johansson from Brussels on a trip to Berlin. Johansson is trying to get an EU pact on immigration approved. She speaks with Nancy Faeser, and visits the Tegel refugee shelter in Berlin that is filled to the brim with more than 4000 refugees. Hans Leijtens is the executive director of Frontex. His job is to secure the EU’s borders and prevent even more refugees from drowning in the Mediterannean, and to prevent pushbacks. The film team follows him on a Frontex mission off the coast of Greece. The documentary also shows the places the refugees depart from, as they flee towards Europe. Tunisia is a vital transit point and the focus of much of the EU’s efforts. The EU wants a deal: where Tunisia stops and sends back refugees, and fights smuggling. In return, the EU would send money and equipment, and provide training. How would this be possible without violating human rights? In Albania, Prime Minister Rama is planning to help the EU with the inflow of migration. Albania wants to house refugees in reception centers, while it’s being decided whether they are welcomed into Italy and the EU, or turned away. Najib Mohabib, a young Afgan, lives in Bosnia. His fate is one typical of many refugees. His brother drowned off the coast of Croatia while attempting to flee to the EU. Najib Mohabib is now stuck in Bosnia on his way towards the EU, but refuses to give up his dream of starting a company in Germany. Europe wants to seal itself off - The documentary by Julia Rech and Ulf Röller depicts how difficult such a thing will be without betraying the rule of law.

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