Wednesday

17th Jan 2018

Frontex double counts migrants entering EU

  • The number of detected crossings into the EU is likely to be much lower than those cited by Frontex (Photo: Frontex)

The number of migrants crossing into the EU is likely to be much lower than that cited by the EU's border agency, Frontex.

The Warsaw-based agency said in a tweet on Tuesday (13 October) that it double counts detections.

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

“Monthly figures includes all detections @ EU external borders. People arriving in Greece would again be counted entering Hungary".

The tweet followed a press statement by the agency that stated: "the total number of migrants who crossed the EU’s external borders in the first nine months of this year rose to more than 710,000".

The agency then points out that 282,000 were recorded for the whole of last year.

It then refers to the "total number of migrants" as detections, failing to note that some are double counted.

The detail was instead mentioned on its Twitter account after a request for clarification.

The majority of people seeking asylum in the EU first cross into Greece and then through the Western Balkans before entering a second time into Hungary.

Some are known to have made multiple attempts to cross into Hungary.

It is also possible that some may have made other attempts at crossing into the EU at the Croatian border after first being rejected at the Hungarian border.

When pressed, Frontex did not provide figures at the time of writing on how many were detected twice over the same period.

It said that in 2015, Hungary registered 13 times more detections compared to the same period as last year. It is unclear how many were counted twice.

It also noted an “estimated 97,000 people, not yet included in the official figures, also entered the EU through Croatia in the second half of September after Hungary sealed its border with Serbia”.

More agents, more money

Frontex executive director Fabrice Leggeri, for his part, wants member states to send more border guards to help screen and debrief arriving asylum seekers in Italy and Greece.

“I do hope we receive adequate contributions which will show the true spirit of European solidarity”, he said in a statement.

Leggeri said the additional borders are needed to deal with “unprecedented flows.”

The agency has seen a series of budget hikes in the past year.

At the start of year, it received €114 million and then received a €27 million injection in April.

Leggeri in September said they are now set to get €176 million next year, a 54 percent budget hike.

Proposals are now being made at the European Commission to expand the agency’s mandate. The Brussels executive wants Frontex to be able to send unwanted migrants back to their home countries.

EU ministers agree, saying that Frontex needs a dedicated ‘return office’ so that it can “scale up its support to member states in order, inter alia, to facilitate, organise and fund return operations.”

It will also be the focal point in a future plan for an European border and coast guard corps.

The European Commission, for its part, is set to propose legislation before the end of the year on EU-wide border guards.

Frontex to get budget hike after refugee failures

Frontex, the EU's external border agency, is being given a 54 percent budget rise next year as part of a new European Commission package of initiatives to tackle the continent's refugee and migrant crisis.

Investigation

Frontex resource limitations put agency in straitjacket

The EU border agency has the potential to police Europe's borders, save lives and reduce human trafficking, but lack of means and political will reduces it to a resource-poor coordinating agency, says a report by the Bureau of Investigative Journalism.

Macron eyes France-UK border agreement

French president Macron wants the UK to take in more refugees as he revisits the 2003 Le Touquet agreement, which allows British border controls to take place inside French territory.

Showdown EU vote on asylum looking likely for next June

Divisions on relocating asylum seekers remain entrenched following an EU summit. The east-west divide opens up the possibility of relying on a majority vote for a key asylum in June, further exacerbating disputes among opposing capitals.

EU asylum debate reopens old wounds

EU leaders discussed asylum reforms in an effort to reach a consensus by next June, but divisions remain wide as concept of 'solidarity' becomes ever more elusive.

Macron eyes France-UK border agreement

French president Macron wants the UK to take in more refugees as he revisits the 2003 Le Touquet agreement, which allows British border controls to take place inside French territory.

Magazine

The asylum files: deadlock and dead-ends

The EU is reforming a number of internal asylum laws, but lack of staff, politics, and the sheer complexity of the bills means deadlines - like those announced by EU council chief Tusk - are likely to come and go.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. AJC Transatlantic InstituteAJC Calls on EU to Sanction Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Expel Ambassadors
  2. Dialogue PlatformRoundtable on "Political Islam, Civil Islam and The West" 31 January
  3. ILGA EuropeFreedom of Movement and Same-Sex Couples in Romania – Case Update!
  4. EU2017EEEstonia Completes First EU Presidency, Introduced New Topics to the Agenda
  5. Bio-Based IndustriesLeading the Transition Towards a Post-Petroleum Society
  6. ACCAWelcomes the Start of the New Bulgarian Presidency
  7. Mission of China to the EUPremier Li and President Tusk Stress Importance of Ties at ASEM Summit
  8. EU2017EEVAT on Electronic Commerce: New Rules Adopted
  9. European Jewish CongressChair of EU Parliament Working Group on Antisemitism Condemns Wave of Attacks
  10. Counter BalanceA New Study Challenges the Infrastructure Mega Corridors Agenda
  11. Dialogue PlatformThe Gülen Community: Who to Believe - Politicians or Actions?" by Thomas Michel
  12. Plastics Recyclers Europe65% Plastics Recycling Rate Attainable by 2025 New Study Shows