This article analyzes intra-European movements of refugees, more precisely of migrants holding a humanitarian and/or subsidiary protection status, between the city of Turin and Germany. Such movements are strictly related to the closing of the Italian reception program “Emergenza Nord Africa”: as the reception centres were closed many refugees left Italy moving to other northern European countries following their desire to find better life conditions. This contribution focuses on the return movements from Germany to Turin, the latter being the city where refugees have to renew their permit of stay. This article draws on an ethnographic research conducted in Turin and Berlin from 2011 to 2015; it shows that the movements of refugees within the Schengen area cross both national territories and juridical territories, and stresses some of the relevant implications in the refugees’ everyday life. Indeed, the rights refugees are entitled to depend on the State in which they are staying: in the State that issued their document they are formally entitled to rights that they cannot access in other countries. As a consequence the marginalization, the control over mobility, and a strong socio-economic precariousness are experienced by refugees over the national borders and throughout time. The lived experiences of refugees who return to Turin from northern European countries show the contradictions of the asylum measures in Europe: in its current implementation it concurs in producing a protracted socio-economic but also a juridical precariousness.
Keywords: Refugees, regimes of mobility, ‘Emergenza Nord-Africa’, juridical status, European Union.