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State of Play of Implementation of the Priority Actions under the European Agenda on Migration: Annex 1 - EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan

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Annex to the Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament and the Council on the State of Play of Implementation of the Priority Actions under the European Agenda on Migration: EU-Turkey Joint Action Plan - Implementation Report

Period: 17 December 2015 to 31 January 2016

Introduction

On 29 November 2015, at the EU-Turkey summit, Turkey and the EU activated the Joint Action Plan (JAP) that had been agreed ad referenda on 15 October 2015. The aim of the JAP is to step up cooperation for the support of Syrian refugees under temporary protection and their host communities in Turkey and to strengthen cooperation to prevent irregular migration flows to the EU. The implementation of the JAP should thus bring order into migratory flows and help to stem irregular migration.

The aim of this second JAP implementation report, two months after its activation, is to inform on the effective follow up given by Turkey and the EU to their respective commitments since the first report issued on 17 December 2015. These reports are part of an overall effort to monitor the situation closely.

  1. Part 1 1.1. Statistical data (in the EU)

One of the key objectives of the JAP is to achieve results in particular in stemming the influx of irregular migrants.

The number of people arriving irregularly to the EU from Turkey is still high for this period of the year when winter weather conditions were expected to contribute to a decrease in the number of arrivals. More specifically, in the 46 days of the reporting period (i.e. from 17 December to 31 January):

  • The total number of irregular migrants who have reached the EU by sea and land (i.e. via Greece and Bulgaria) was 110,211. Most of them i.e. 109,336 or 99.2% crossed the Aegean Sea.

  • The daily average of irregular crossings via Greece was 2,377, via Bulgaria 19 and the total 2,396.

  • On a weekly basis arrivals via Greece were on average 16,437.

For the sake of comparison with previous months:

  • The total numbers of irregular arrivals from Turkey to Greece in September, October,
    November, December 2015 and January 2016 were respectively 147,639, 214,792, 154,381, 110,835 and 67,756.

  • For the same months the corresponding daily averages were 4,921, 6,929, 5,146, 3,575 and 2,186 persons.

The irregular entries from Turkey to Greece (via sea) in December and January are presented in the following graphs: graph 1 illustrates the number of irregular arrivals per day and graph 2 presents the irregular arrivals per week.

Graph 3 illustrates the number of irregular arrivals per month from Turkey to Greece from September 2015 to January 2016. Graph 4 shows the irregular arrivals in the same period i.e. from September 2015 to January 2016, broken down by the predominant nationalities (based on the declaration of migrants upon their arrival) i.e. Syrians followed by Afghanis and Iraqis.
The broken down figures reveal a diminishing percentage - as compared to the total - of Syrians (from 69 to 38%) and an increasing percentage of Afghanis (from 18% to 24%) and Iraqis (from 8% to 15%).