the scenario is getting worse, in keeping with Frontex | EUROtoday

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En 2023, unlawful border crossings of the European Union (EU) elevated by 17% in comparison with 2022. According to Frontex, the scenario in 2024 is just not anticipated to enhance resulting from an “increasedcomplex geopolitical environment. Analysts from the European Border and Coast Guard Agency note that “these challenges will probably mainly affect the migratory routes of the central and eastern Mediterranean. An increase in pressure in these countries could also affect the Western Balkans.”

In 2023, the highest irregular immigration was recorded via the Central Mediterranean route (Italy) with 157,479 people, an increase of 49%. The Eastern Mediterranean route (Greece) is also experiencing a strong increase (+ 55%), even if the flows are less significant (60,073 people). The strongest progression is recorded via the Canaries (40,403 irregular crossings), up 161%.

Terrorist risk remains high

Via Spain, crossings are low: 16,915 people (up 12%). Only the Balkan route is experiencing a decline (-31%), but flows remain high with 99,068 irregular crossings. On the eastern border of Europe (Poland, Baltic countries, etc.), the situation seems to be under control: 5,608 irregular crossings, down 12%.

READ ALSO The Mediterranean, the mass grave of EuropeIn its analytical note, the Frontex agency is hardly reassuring for 2024. “The risk of seeing terrorists blend into migratory flows remains high,” it writes. Furthermore, “given the polarization of European societies around the war between Israel and Gaza, the risk of terrorist attacks could increase. […] The major sporting events of 2024 could be threatened. » A fairly transparent allusion to the Paris Olympic Games.

Syrians largely ahead of irregular entries

In 2023, most migrants involved in illegal crossings are Syrian (100,962 people, or 28% of the total). The other nationalities are African: Guineans (19,928 people), Sub-Saharans without identified nationality (18,143 people), Ivorians (17,165), Tunisians (17,155), Afghans (16,990), Moroccans (14 477), the Bangladeshis (13,417)…

A substantial number of illegal immigrants – especially Afghans, Iraqis and Syrians – want to reach the UK. Frontex also lists 62,000 wild crossings of the Channel, a number which combines attempts and successes. This passage to the United Kingdom is up 12% compared to 2022.

Moscow uses migration pressure against Finland

To spontaneous flows, we must add the exploitation of irregular immigration by hostile powers which, according to Frontex, “will probably continue, or even intensify, in 2024”. At the end of 2023, Finland decided to completely close its 1,340 kilometers of border with Russia following a “hybrid attack” from Moscow, in the words of the Petteri Orpo government. Finland has noted that almost 1,000 asylum seekers from Somalia, Iraq and Yemen have presented themselves at Finnish-Russian border crossings since the summer.

For Frontex, these events “demonstrate the keen interest of the Russian Federation and Belarus in testing specific sections of their vast western borders with their EU and Schengen neighbors.” In 2024, Frontex anticipates that the Bulgarian and Romanian borders should experience new migratory pressures this spring.

The European reform of asylum and migration will be definitively voted on in April. The philosophy of the texts poses major advances: no one will enter Europe without having been registered – fingerprints and facial images – at the border. Digital and facial recording will not concern children under 6 years old. This control period will last a maximum of seven days. If the “screening” demonstrates that a dangerous individual with a criminal record is attempting to enter the Schengen area, he will be immediately removed.

Two years of implementation of migration reform

For nationals of countries which have little chance of being accepted as “refugees” (less than 20% chance), the reform introduces an accelerated procedure at the border. In six months, their application will be processed, avenues of appeal exhausted and return to the country of origin effective. They will not be considered to have entered Europe.

European regulation takes up the French thought of ​​the “legal fiction of non-entry” into the EU – as at Roissy airport. These foreigners will subsequently be saved in “reception centers” – similar to on the Greek island of Samos –, for some within the type of detention, for others, much less problematic, within the type of home arrest. For different asylum seekers – for instance coming from struggle zones – the traditional process will apply.

Furthermore, the European Union concludes financial growth agreements with nations of departure and transit to dry up departures and dismantle smuggler networks. Two agreements have thus far been sealed, one with Tunisia, the opposite with Egypt. Several others are within the pipeline. However, the entry into pressure of this set of texts will take one other two years. Until then, the scenario can most likely deteriorate additional at Europe's exterior borders.