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Migrants’ movements through the Mediterranean: EMN Inform

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This EMN Inform summaries the main findings of the EMN Policy Brief on migrants’ movements through the Mediterranean[1].

Key points to note:

Asylum trends in the EEA from 2009 to September 2015

  • There were 3.3 million asylum applications to the EEA and Switzerland, during this period.
  • Syrian nationals accounted for the greatest number of asylum applications in the EEA (448,000).
  • Almost half (222,000) of these Syrian asylum applications were made in the first nine months of 2015.
  • Germany received 32% (289,000) of all applications in the EEA in the period.

Routes into the EU

  • Between 2013 and 2014, numbers arriving via the Central Mediterranean route from Libya to Italy increased three fold.
  • Between January and September 2015 the most commonly used route for irregular entry into the EU was the Eastern Mediterranean.
  • The Western Balkan land route[2] also saw an increase in detections in 2014 (43,000) compared to 2013.


  • The average grant rate for all nationalities applying for asylum across the EEA in the first nine months of 2015 was 48%.

See also: EMN Policy Brief on migrants’ movements through the Mediterranean

[1] This report has been compiled by the UK National Contact Point (NCP) of the European Migration Network (EMN) with the collaboration of the Italian, French, Netherlands and Swedish NCPs, the EMN Service Provider and input from other members of the EMN along with Frontex and Eurostat.

[2] Describes two main migration flows; migrants coming from the Western Balkan states into Hungary and the secondary movements of migrants who initially entered the EU through the Eastern Mediterranean through Greece, Bulgaria or Cyprus.

Author: European Migration Network
Publisher: Directorate General Migration and Home Affairs, European Commission
Date of Publication: 23 December 2015
Reference Period: 01 January 2013 to 30 September 2015
Geographical focus: Europe

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