Project Turnstone: Freedom of Movement and Passenger Experiences with Safety and Border Control in the Baltic Sea Area
Projekt Turnstone: Fri rörlighet och passagerares upplevelser av säkerhet och gränskontroll i Östersjöregionen
Summary, in English
Project Turnstone is a collaborative project funded in part by the European Commission. The project is an initiative by the Stockholm Police. The purpose of the project is to improve day-to-day cooperation between border officers in the Baltic Sea region, decrease trans-boundary criminality, and increase security for passengers in the Baltic Sea area without compromising freedom of movement. Within the framework of Project Turnstone, the purpose of this study is to map and analyse how travellers experience, interpret, and define freedom of movement in the northern part of the Baltic Sea region. This qualitative study is based on empirically gathered material, including field interviews and fieldwork observations at Stockholm’s Arlanda airport in Sweden, a Tallink Silja Line ferry between Stockholm and Riga in Latvia, and a Tallink Silja Line ferry between Stockholm and Tallinn in Estonia. The findings of this study suggest that many passengers are positive regarding the idea of freedom of movement in Europe but are scared of threats from outside of Europe. Several interviewees viewed Sweden and the northern parts of Europe as safe and mostly identified threats as coming from outside of Europe. Passengers generally identified political and collective threats, such as terrorism and cross-border criminality, but did not mention airplane or ferry accidents as possible risks. Freedom of movement is described as a potential risk for society and passengers, thereby placing risk in a larger societal context. Nevertheless, all but three of the interviewed passengers claimed that they felt safe during their travels, though many also added that they might feel safer if there were consistent passport controls regarding all travellers. The respondents in this study construct safety by distinguishing themselves from others outside of Europe. Passengers emphasized that freedom of movement is positive for personal gain because it is easier for EU citizens to travel in Europe, but at the same time it is regarded as facilitating the entry of potential threats into the EU.