According to the European Union’s border agency, irregular immigration into the EU increased by 10% in the first half of 2023 when compared to the previous year. Notably, the Mediterranean routes witnessed the highest number of arrivals during this period. This indicates a concerning trend in unauthorized migration to the region.
Between the start of the year and the end of June, Frontex, the EU’s border agency, documented 132,370 attempts to enter the European Union through irregular routes, surpassing the numbers recorded during the same period in 2022 by 10%. This surge in unauthorized border crossings highlights the pressing issue of irregular migration for the European Union.
Frontex’s report indicated a significant increase of over one-third in central Mediterranean crossings, which constituted half of the total irregular immigration numbers. The rise in arrivals from Tunisia to Italy played a notable role in this surge. On the other hand, all other routes into the EU experienced a decrease in traffic compared to the first half of 2022. This data illustrates the shifting dynamics and challenges in managing irregular immigration across various entry points into the European Union.
Recently, the European Union entered into an agreement with Tunisia aimed at curbing irregular migration to the bloc. With pan-European elections scheduled in a year, the EU is committed to maintaining strict control over sea arrivals. This agreement represents a significant step in the EU’s efforts to address the challenges posed by irregular migration and reinforce its border management policies to ensure a more secure and controlled migration environment in the region.
Over the years, the European Union has consistently pursued efforts to reduce irregular immigration from the Middle East, Africa, and Asia. However, these endeavors have faced criticism from rights groups, who argue that the EU’s approach may inadvertently support rulers with questionable democratic credentials in order to achieve its migration control goals.
This delicate balance between addressing irregular migration and upholding democratic values remains a complex and contentious issue for the EU’s policies and actions in the realm of migration management.