Mixed Migration Flows in the Mediterranean: Compilation of available data and information (February 2018)
12,736 TOTAL ARRIVALS TO EUROPE IN 2018 10,566 ARRIVALS BY SEA IN 2018 2,170 ARRIVALS BY LAND IN 2017 20,200 ARRIVALS TO EUROPE BY THE END OF FEBRUARY 2017
According to data collacted from national authorities and IOM offices there were 12,736 new arrivals to Europe in January and February 2018. Looking into the data for the past four years, with the exception of 2015 when 11,950 arrivals have been registered, this is the lowest number of registered irregular migrants arriving to Europe. It represents a 37% decrease compared to 20,200 reported in the same period last year, and more than ten times decrease in comparison to 137,116 registered in January and February 2016.
The decrease this year is mainly related to the lower number of migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean route. Arrivals to Italy halved from 13,436 in 2017 to 5,247. In addition to that, Bulgarian, Spanish and Cyprian authorities also registered less migrants and asylum seekers this year compared to year before. In Bulgaria there were a total of 154 apprehensions in 2018 compared to 451 in 2017, while in Cyprus, there were 47 new arrivals this year compared to 96 in the same period 2017. Spain has seen a slight (4%) decrease, from 3,862 in 2017 to 3,700 registered in January and February 2018.
In contrast to that, authorities in Greece reported a 33% increase, from 2,705 in January and February 2017, to 3,588 in the same period 2018.
Syrian and Iraqi nationals are still the first two registered nationality groups for migrants and asylum seekers who arrived to Europe through the Eastern Mediterranean route. On the Central route, an increase is observed in arrivals from Eritrea (one quarter of all registered migrants in Italy this year) which is a first nationality group registered, followed by migrants originating in Tunisia,
Nigeria and Pakistan.
Although to a lesser extent, the flows through the Western Balkans are still registered. In that regards, a significant increase has been observed in the number of registered irregular migrants on exit and entry to Bosnia and Herzegovina - from 146 reported for the first two months of 2017, to 458 intercepted at the end of this reporting period (increase for more than 200%), It seems that this is a continuation of the rise in apprehensions noted at the end of 2017 when in the last three months authorities intercepted 529 irregular migrants, almost the same as the sum of the apprehensions reported for the remaining nine months of the year.