The Use of Military Forces in the Protection of the Borders and Prevention of Irregular Migrations in Selected South East European Countries

  • Benjamin Sadrić Fifth-year student of law at the Faculty of Law, University of Zagreb, Croatia
Keywords: refugee crisis, military, army, borders, Schengen, European Union, migrations


The 2015 refugee crisis in Europe was a humanitarian, legal, and logistical crisis. New circumstances gave rise to ideas of calling upon armies to serve at borders. This paper analyses all the elements of the refugee crisis that could serve to legitimise or oppose the use of military forces in the protection of state borders.
Governments’ international obligations to protect refugees and providing security for their citizens came into conflict during the crisis. In an age of terrorist threats, the roles of the police and the military are shifting in an unknown direction, yet these international obligations remain. The refugee crisis challenged not only international law but also European Union policies and ethical principles. The possible solutions were either to accept all refugees or to close the borders entirely and somewhere in between these opposing solutions the army was considered as a tool. Many have emphasized that there is no place for military personnel at  tate borders regardless of refugee inflow. Hence, this paper examines the arguments for a “military ban”. Furthermore, a thorough analysis follows on the legal and logistical legitimacy of army usage at borders. At the end, Hungarian, Slovenian, and Croatian legislation are discussed and compared with a view to problems that could arise from the differences in the legislation regarding possible future migration and refugee inflows.