This in-depth monitoring study assesses the EU’s capacity to handle migration. Why does the European Union respond so badly to migration crises? And why does it repeatedly allow itself to be blackmailed by neighboring states which extract concessions in return for holding back migrants? The ongoing situation at the EU’s border to Belarus is no isolated incident. It reveals vulnerabilities resulting directly from the way the EU regulates its borders and international migration. Over the past decade, a pattern has emerged: the more the EU tries to defend the Schengen Area, its passport-free travel zone, the more vulnerable it makes itself.