Frontex, the EU border agency has revealed that migrant arrivals are expected to increase in the upcoming years with economic reasons being the main push factor.
According to the annual risk assessment by Frontex, migrant arrivals are expected to rise, similar to what they did in 2022 and the geopolitical situation alongside the economy are the main reasons for this outcome.
Europol has also noted that the market for migrant smuggling services into and within the EU reached new records, considering the economic recessions, climate-related environmental emergencies, demographic pressures and conflicts.
For 2023 and 2024, Frontex anticipates migration activity along the eastern and central Mediterranean routes, as these two routes are more exposed to migration flows to the EU external borders. The use of routes through Turkey, Lebanon and Syria through the central Mediterranean will be increasingly popular for migrants.
Libya and Tunisia will also see an increase in migration especially from North African countries and the ones from sub-Saharan countries, which is anticipated to occur due to the economic, security, climate situation and human rights situation in these countries.
“On the other hand, there are signs that the Western Balkans, which account for the above-mentioned outsized share thereof, may see a moderate decrease in pressure as visa policy alignment in the region works to decrease numbers of select nationalities and on account of fewer secondary movements transiting the region after having arrived first on the Eastern Mediterranean route,” the report by Frontex reads.
The same report reveals that the top ten nationalities that are mostly detected for irregular border crossings at the EU’s external borders are Syrians, Afghanistan and Turks as the main ones with these three nationalities accounting for more than 100,000 border crossings. Other nationalities that were the most detected for illegal border crossings include Pakistanis, Indians, Tunisians, Ukrainians, Nigerians, Congolese and Moroccans.
The report further reveals that new arrivals at border crossings were mainly men (171,157) compared to women (12,318).
One of the concerns that Frontex raises is third-country national returns, as the figures of such returns in 2022 are almost the same as those in the previous year with only 1.6 per cent more returns recorded.
There are several factors that impact the low number of effective returns in 2022, but the war in Ukraine is the leading one, as the report by Frontex reveals. There is no specific prediction on what nationalities will have the most impact on caseloads of returns but some regions are more highlighted including West and North Africa.