The EMN Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum 2014 provides an overview of the main legal and policy development in the area of migration and asylum taking place at EU level and within participating countries .
The following key points are identified:
Common European Asylum System
- A total of 626,710 asylum applications were submitted in 2014, representing an increase of 30% since 2013 (434,160 asylum applicants).
- Political instability and on-going crises in the Europe’s neighbourhood regions resulted in a sharp increase of asylum applications to EU Member States and Norway in 2014.
- The high and/or unexpected influx in the number of applications for asylum and international protection presented challenges in a number of countries (AT, CY, DE, EE, EL, ES, HR, HU, IT, MT, NL, SE).
- Challenges included managing reception capacity (AT, CY, DE, EL, HR, IT, NL) pressures on asylum application systems, resulting in some cases in prolonged procedures and delays in decision-making (CY, DE, LU, PT, SE), long periods of detention of asylum seekers (EL) and ensuring the availability of interpretation services in certain languages (LU, MT).
Unaccompanied Minors (UAMS) and other vulnerable groups
- A total of 23,075 asylum applications were submitted by Unaccompanied Minors (UAMs) in 2014.
- The majority of Member States reported institutional, legislative and/ or policy changes during the year which aimed to improve the reception and procedural guarantees for unaccompanied minors and to find durable solutions based on the child’s best interests.
European Policy on Legal Migration and Integration
- In 2014, two Directives in the field of legal migration: the Directive on Seasonal Workers and the Directive on Intra-Corporate Transfers were adopted. Ireland does not participate in these directives.
- The majority of Member States reported on their efforts to fill specific gaps in their national labour markets through flexible inflows of migrant workers. Many reported also on improved means of monitoring and identifying their specific needs for labour migration. These included both legislative changes (EE, EL, IE, SE) and new policy / practice changes (ES, FI, FR, IE, LU, RO).
Securing Europe’s External Borders
- In 2014, more than 276,000 migrants irregularly entered the EU which represents an increase of 155% compared to 2013. This represented a huge challenge in particular for Member States bordering on Central Mediterranean (Italy, Malta) as well as on Eastern Aegean (Greece).
- Almost all Member States introduced or planned new border control measures in 2014. These included National Action plans (AT, CZ, SK, SE) and cooperation programmes with EU and third countries (AT, BG, CZ, DE, FR, IT, LV, LT, NL, UK). Specific initiatives included the EU ‘smart’ border package; Entry/Exist and Registered Traveller Programme; and other activities to improve the effectiveness of controls at external borders (e.g. training and policy); advance passenger information (API) / passenger name record (PNR) systems and Eurosur.
Irregular Migration and Return
- In 2014, approximately 260,000 third-country nationals were refused entry at the external borders while more than double this number, were found to be illegally present (547,335).
- During the year, Member States introduced or planned new measures to address the issue of facilitation of irregular migration. These measures involved both legislative developments (BE, EE) and a range of new measures to strengthen prevention (AT, IT, LV, NL, PT).
Actions Addressing Trafficking in Human Beings
- Efforts towards improving the identification and provision of information to victims of trafficking in human beings were reported in 2014 including the introduction of new legal acts concerning the prevention of trafficking and support to victims or amending existing ones and new strategies and action plans and the development of national systems of assistance to victims.
- Other measures included the training of different stakeholders who might come into contact with victims, including the asylum authorities (AT, IE, ES, NL, PL), border guards (CZ, NL, PL), police (CY, LU, NL, PL,SK), migration officials (ES, NL, SK) consular staff, armed forces staff deployed on international missions, attorneys and social workers (SK) and judges and prosecutors (NL), as well as dissemination and information campaigns, including the publication of leaflets and handbooks.
See also: EMN Annual Report on Immigration and Asylum 2014 Statistic Annex
 28 EMN NCPs: Austria (AT), Belgium (BE), Bulgaria (BG), Croatia (HR), Cyprus (CY), Czech Republic (CZ), Estonia (EE), Finland (FI), France (FR), Germany (DE), Greece (EL), Hungary (HU), Ireland (IE), Italy (IT), Latvia (LV), Lithuania (LT), Luxembourg (LU), Malta (MT), the Netherlands (NL), Poland (PL), Portugal (PT), Romania (RO), Slovak Republic (SK), Slovenia (SL), Spain (ES), Sweden (SE), the United Kingdom (UK) and Norway (NO).