Following on from an earlier version published in December 2015, this policy brief focuses on irregular migratory movements, rather than the regular migration of people using legal mechanisms which are well-established and are measured routinely in published statistics.
Since 2015 large numbers of people seeking to enter the EU has disrupted the normal flow and reception of people, though this flow has decreased somewhat since the previous version largely due to the EU-Turkey statement in 2016. It is in this context that the large numbers of asylum seekers, migrants and displaced persons arriving at our borders has been and continues to be a test for the European Union and its Member States.
The aim of this policy brief is to present key data on the irregular movements of people across the EU external borders and within the European Union itself, whether as asylum seekers or as migrants in search of greater economic security, over the past few years and including the first eight months of 2017.
In identifying key data to illustrate irregular migratory flows, this policy brief summarises patterns for the EU while focusing on the most important flows and countries of origin. As these patterns are continuously subject to change, the picture it presents should be seen as a snapshot of developments over the time period covered.