Friday

14th Aug 2020

Record 107,500 migrants arrived in EU in July

  • Number of migrants registered at EU borders more than tripled in July compared to last year (Photo: iom.int)

The number of migrants registered at the EU’s borders more than tripled in July to 107,500 compared to the same month last year, figures released by Frontex on Tuesday (18 August) show.

It passed the record 100,000 in a single month for the first time since the EU's border control agency began keeping records in 2008.

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  • Merkel: 'The issue of asylum could be the next major European project' (Photo: Bundesregierung)

The number of detections in 2015 (January-July) now totals nearly 340,000, compared to 123,500 recorded in the same period of last year.

At least 2,300 people have also died this year while trying to cross the Mediterranean Sea to reach Europe, research by The International Organisation for Migration says.

The surge has created huge pressure on border control authorities.

“This is an emergency situation for Europe that requires all EU member states to step in to support the national authorities who are taking on a massive number of migrants at its borders,” said Frontex director Fabrice Leggeri.

In July, almost half of the detections were reported in the Aegean Sea (nearly 50,000), mainly on the Greek islands of Lesbos, Chios, Samos, and Kos.

Hungarian authorities reported more than 34,800 detections while Italy detected more than 20,000 migrants in July.

The number of people entering Spain through Ceuta and Melilla, its exclaves in Morocco, is also increasing, according to the Spanish interior ministry. The total of 12,549 in 2014 was a big jump from the year before, when 7,472 entered Spain.

Spain has been slammed for its treatment of migrants on its borders with Morocco.

In a recent report, human rights organisation Amnesty International accused Madrid of carrying out unlawful deportations to Morocco and the unnecessary or excessive use of force by law enforcement officials at the exclaves’ borders.

Major European project

Mediterranean Sea shores are the entry point to Europe for most migrants, but not the end destination.

Germany is to raise its forecast for the number of asylum seekers expected this year from a previous 450,000 to at least 650 000, German daily Handelsblatt reported on Tuesday.

Interior minister Thomas de Maiziere, who is scheduled to present a new prognosis by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees on Wednesday, will say that the number of asylum seekers coming to Germany in 2015 could go as high as 750,000.

In a ZDF interview on Sunday, chancellor Angela Merkel also highlighted the severity of the migrant crisis.

She said the issue will “preoccupy Europe much, much more than the issue of Greece and the stability of the euro” in future.

She also indicated Germany is in favour of reforming EU asylum laws, which, in their current state, put the burden on frontline countries, such as Greece and Italy, where asylum seekers first enter EU territory.

"The issue of asylum could be the next major European project, in which we show whether we are really able to take joint action”, Merkel said.

UK and French ministers will meet in Calais on Thursday to agree a new deal to tackle the migrant crisis there, reports the BBC. The EU’s migration commissioer, Dimitris Avramopoulos,, is also due to visit the site at a later date,

Neither the UK nor the Frech government has given full details of what the deal will involve.

Thousands of migrants camp around Calais and each night hundreds attempt to reach the UK by breaching security around the port and the Eurotunnel.

Following the Calais meeting, French interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve is to travel to Berlin for talks on Europe's migration policies.

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