Migrants' movements through the Mediterranean (EMN Inform)

This EMN Inform shows how movements of asylum-seekers, migrants and displaced persons to the EU have changed and evolved in 2015.

Background information

This EMN Inform is supported by the accompanying full report on Migrants' movements through the Mediterranean and onward movements to other Member States. It aims to illustrate irregular migratory flows, focusing on the most important flows and countries of origin. As these patterns are countinuously subject to change, the picture it presents should be seen as a snapshot of developments over the time period covered.

Inform on Migrants' movements through the Mediterranean: some findings

  • The routes irregular migrants use to enter the EU are constantly changing: while the Central Mediterranean route from Lybia to Italy was the most common one used in 2014, this pattern changed in 2015 as the Eastern Mediterranean route was the most common route between January and September 2015. The Western Balkan land route also saw a huge rise in detections in the first 9 months of 2015, reflecting the increased inflow of migrants from within Europe alongside those coming from outside.
  • The number of asylum applications more than doubled between 2009 and 2014. In the first 9 months of 2015, numbers significantly increased again, with 901.000 asylum applications (mainly from Syrians, Afghans, Iraqis, Kosovars and Albanians) lodged at the end of September 2015 (twice the number recorded over the same period in 2014). The Member States receiving the largest numbers of applications include Germany, Hungary, Sweden, Italy, Austria and France.
  • The average recognition rate for all nationalities applying for international protection across the EU in the first 9 months of 2015 was 48%, though this varies considerably between Member States (depending on the nationalities contributing to the flow). Fourteen nationalities have an EU-wide average recognition rate of over 60%. Also stateless persons have a recognition rate of over 60%.
  • A number of factors influence secondary movements of irregular migrants in the EU, including weather conditions (impacting on crossings over routes of entry), the role of migrant smugglers, economic conditions, the legal situation and general labour market conditions, a welcome culture as well as established networks and communities to facilitate societal integration. While Mediterranean frontline Member States are an important point of entry for nationals from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia and Eritrea, many ultimately apply for asylum in other Member States such as Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and Finland.
  • Member States that receive significant numbers of asylum seekers also run resettlement programmes and contribute humanitarian aid to third-countries in need.

Please read the Inform for further findings and the full report for further details.

Publication Date:
Tue 05 Jan 2016
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