News on migration and asylum from around the region - Nouvelles de la région sur les questions de migration et d'asile

Monday, February 16, 2015


2 February 2015

Although some data are still missing for De­cember 2014, the number of detections of illegal border-crossing in 2014 as a whole to­talled about 278 000. This is two and a half times larger than the year before (107 000) and twice as much as in 2011 (141 000) dur­ing the initial stages of the Arab Spring. This increase is mostly connected to the increas­ing number of refugees and displaced people worldwide, related to the ongoing conflict in Syria and its spread to Iraq, which have cre­ated the worst refugee crisis since the Sec­ond World War.
Following recent increases, in December 2014 Kosovo nationals were for the first time the migrants most commonly detected il­legally crossing the external border of the EU/Schengen area, accounting for a massive 40% of total detections. This trend has been linked with rumours among the Kosovo population that France’s decision to remove Kosovo from the national list of safe coun­tries will make it much more straightfor­ward to obtain asylum in this Member State.
Kosovans and Afghans were the only two major nationalities that were detected more frequently in December than in No­vember, which stands in marked contrast with the normal seasonal decreases seen at this time of year. Both nationalities were mostly detected on the Western Balkan route while attempting to illegally enter Hungary from Serbia. At this border, de­tections in December reached a record of more than 12 000 detections, compared to about 7 500 in November 2014.
On the Central Mediterranean route, de­tections totalled more than 6 700, a de­crease compared to November (~9 400), but still considerably higher than a year ago in December 2013 (~2 700). Each year between November and March, detections tend to be lower than in any other period as winter conditions make it more difficult to cross the border and to travel over long distances in general, especially in Europe.