Vol. 14 No. 1 (2023):
Research Article

A Making of a border island: The example of Lesvos

Paraskevi Tsitsaraki
PhD Candidate, Department of Geography. University of the Aegean
Electra Petracou
Associate Professor, Department of Geography. University of the Aegean
Camp moria

Published 2023-03-10


  • border island,
  • control migration policies,
  • Lesvos

How to Cite

Tsitsaraki, Paraskevi, and Electra Petracou. 2023. “A Making of a Border Island: The Example of Lesvos”. European Journal of Geography 14 (1):11-20. https://doi.org/10.48088/ejg.p.tsi.
Received 2022-12-18
Accepted 2023-03-10
Published 2023-03-10


This article examines the gradual transformation of the island of Lesvos from a boundary into a border place, where migration management and border policies are pursued with the aim of controlling human mobility. Refugees have been arriving on Lesvos since 2000. This period coincided with the establishment of a common external border under the Schengen Agreement and the attempts to adopt a common asylum policy within the EU. Therefore, in this study we examine the impact of the implementation of certain border management measures on Lesvos, which have resulted in Lesvos being an example of a border that is not a line but an island (Mountz, 2014, 2020). Furthermore, the adoption of various asylum policies has led to the restriction of population mobility and the detention of people, justifying the policy and practice of abolishing asylum protection in the EU. In writing this article, we have drawn on a review of literature, reports from international organisations, legislation, relevant coverage of events in the international and local press, and participant observations.


  • EU common asylum policies and external borders.
  • Lesvos as a border island.
  • Abandonment of refugee protection rights.


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