Changing Influx of Asylum Seekers 2014-2016 (EMN)

This EMN study provides an overview of the changes to national strategies, approaches and measures in response to  the  unprecedented  migratory  movements  to  EU  Member States and Norway between 2014 and 2016.

Background information

The impacts of global migratory movements were felt acutely in Europe during the period 2014-2016. According to Eurostat, more than 600 000 applicants applied for international protection in the EU and Norway in 2014, and this more than doubled to 1.32 million in 2015, a level broadly sustained throughout 2016 (1.26 million applications). Following the 2016 peak, the numbers of applicants for international protection decreased to 705 705 in 2017. The significant increase and subsequent decrease in the influx of applicants for international protection impacted on different (Member) States in different ways.

The EMN study “changing influx of asylum seekers (2014-2016)” examines the changes made in the processing of applications for international protection; reception services; registration procedures; asylum procedures and the content/legal consequences of the protection granted; border control and law enforcement; integration measures; plus other areas impacted by these policies.

The study also draws out key challenges, good practices and lessons learnt during  this period. Finally, the study shows the extent to which the (Member) States included in this study are operationally and organisationally prepared for potentially similar situations in the future.

EU synthesis report

The EU synthesis report is based on the contributions from 25 EMN National Contact Points, including Belgium. The EMN Inform summarizes the results of the study. The EMN Flash is a one-page document presenting the key findings and learning points from the study.  

Among other key points, the synthesis report highlights:

  • The 2014-2016 influx of applicants for international protection and other migrants had a profound impact on the EU as a whole, but affected (Member) States in different ways. (Member) States’ authorities have responded in different ways by taking different measures across key areas.
  • Some measures taken were similar across different (Member) States, in particular those enhancing law enforcement and border control and those increasing reception places, immigration service staff and financial resources.
  • Following the general decrease in the influx of arrivals due to national and EU-wide measures taken, (Member) States responded by dismantling or scaling down some of the measures, reassigning staff elsewhere and re-allocating other resources.
  • (Member) States also considered themselves better prepared for future influxes because of the experience gained during 2014-2016 and the emergency and contingency plans put in place as a result.
  • Coordination at different levels of government improved the relevance and effectiveness of measures:
    • between national, regional and local authorities;
    • between government and relevant third parties; and
    • between (Member) States bilaterally and multilaterally (EU-level).
  • Defining clear mandates and responsibilities for all stakeholders involved also improved the effectiveness of measures.
  • Timely sharing of strategic documentation and communication of decisions on measures taken by (Member) States, with the public and media, improved transparency and understanding of the choices made.

Belgian report

The Belgian report on the changing influx of asylum seekers (2014-2016) will soon be available on this website.

Publication Date:
Mon 10 Sep 2018
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