Irregular Border Crossings into EU Drop in 2024, But Concerns Remain

Irregular Border Crossings into EU Drop in 2024, But Concerns Remain

Irregular Border Crossings into EU Drop in 2024, But Concerns RemainThe European Union has seen a significant decrease in irregular border crossings in the first five months of 2024, with numbers falling by 23% compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary data from Frontex, the EU’s border agency. This decline is primarily attributed to a substantial decrease in arrivals via the Central Mediterranean and Western Balkans routes.

However, concerns remain as the Western African and Eastern Mediterranean routes have experienced unprecedented increases in irregular migration. The Western African route, leading to the Canary Islands, saw a staggering 303% rise in arrivals, reaching the highest total for this period since 2011. Meanwhile, the Eastern Mediterranean route more than doubled its numbers, becoming the most active migratory path into the EU.

Key Highlights from the Frontex report about Irregular Border Crossings:

  • Central Mediterranean: 58% decrease in detections compared to the same period last year.
  • Western Balkans: 71% decrease, the most significant drop among major migratory routes.
  • Western African: 303% increase, the largest rise among all routes.
  • Eastern Mediterranean: Over 100% increase, becoming the most active route.
  • Eastern Land Borders: Significant increase, largely driven by activity at the Belarus and Ukrainian borders.

The top three nationalities of irregular migrants on all routes this year are Syria, Mali, and Afghanistan.

Humanitarian Concerns:

Despite the overall decrease, sea crossings remain perilous for migrants, with 923 individuals reported missing in the Mediterranean so far this year. The vast majority were on the Central Mediterranean route.

The decrease in irregular border crossings comes amidst the implementation of a new EU asylum policy, aimed at streamlining asylum procedures and enhancing solidarity among member states. However, the policy has faced criticism from human rights organisations, who argue that it may undermine the right to asylum and lead to potential human rights violations.

The new policy includes measures such as accelerated border procedures for asylum seekers deemed unlikely to be granted protection, and increased cooperation with third countries to prevent irregular migration. The effectiveness and impact of this policy on migration flows and asylum seekers’ rights remain to be seen.

Safeguarding the EU’s borders

Frontex remains committed to safeguarding the EU’s borders, with 2,800 officers and staff engaged in various operations. However, the shifting patterns of irregular migration and the humanitarian concerns associated with these journeys continue to pose challenges for the EU and its member states.

Source: Frontex

European trends News

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *