20 February 2015
110,581 migrants were detected crossing EU borders irregularly from July to September 2014, according to a new report published by the EU border agency Frontex. 46% of them were from Syria (37,533) and Eritrea (13,672 people).
After Syrians and Eritreans, according to Frontex, the largest groups entering the EU irregularly were people from several ‘unspecified sub-Saharan countries’’ (12,491) and Afghans (7,532). During the same period (July – September 2014) Syrians, Eritreans and Afghans were the main nationalities seeking asylum in the EU.
Almost 90% of the migrants entered the EU by sea, reaching mainly Italy and Greece.
Frontex underlines that many of the 140,000 Syrians registered in Egypt left the country to go to Europe. This was due to the increasing difficulties caused by Egypt’s visa requirements for Syrians entering the country, revocations of legal stay and economic difficulties. Furthermore, according to Frontex, smugglers used unseaworthy and overcrowded boats relying on the Italian search and rescue operation Mare Nostrum.
3.8 million Syrian refugees have fled to Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq and Egypt.
For further information:
- IRIN News, Two charts showing that ‘deterring’ migrant boats is failing, 19 February 2015.
- UNHCR Syrian refugee regional response Inter-agency Information Sharing Portal
- ECRE Weekly Bulletin Frontex: Most persons entering the EU irregularly are Syrians 28 February 2014
This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 20 February 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.