Share article:
Share article:

More than 276 000 illegal immigrants entered the EU in 2014

More than 276,000 illegal immigrants entered the EU in 2014, an increase of 138% compared to the year before. This information came from the European commissioner for Immigration, Dimitris Avramopoulos. Among them, 207,000 came in “by crossing the Mediterranean illegally”, the commissioner said during a debate in the European Parliament. They were talking about recent events involving cargo ships loaded with hundreds of distressed immigrants off the coast of Italy.

Since September, more than 12 of these cargo ships have arrived in Europe, which shows “human traffickers find new routes, and methods”, the commissioner said. All this while “conflicts near us generate a constant flow of refugees to Europe”, which will “continue unless a decisive and coordinated action by the EU is taken”, he warned. 

The EU should step up its fight against trafficking, by reinforcing its methods of collecting and exchanging information on traffickers, and making “its legal options more efficient”, he added. “We are in close contact with Turkish authorities to rapidly adapt our strategy, as Turkey has become one of the alternative routes for the traffickers”.

At the same time, the EU and its member States “must act together to set up a real rehoming program for refugees”. It should also increase the number of Syrian refugees it accomodates, currently limited to 36,000. Up to 3,5 million Syrians have fled their country.

The Italian Prime Minister, Matteo Renzi, said it was “fundamental that the EU deals with the Libyan case”, where most of the immigrants found on the coast of Italy travelled from.

“If we do nothing, all we can say about immigration is we won’t be able to see the wood for the trees”, he said, during a Parliament press conference.

(Source: Belga)

Latest news

Belgian food industry hopeful for future after exceptional challenges
The past two years have posed exceptional challenges to all manner of industries, with almost no sector untouched by the strains the pandemic has ...
Covid Safe Ticket led to more infections in Belgium, says expert
The introduction of the Covid Safe Ticket (CST) in Belgium did not necessarily increase the vaccination rate, but instead resulted in more ...
Pfizer and Moderna can ‘adapt vaccines to Omicron variant’ in a few months
If the current mRNA coronavirus vaccines developed by Pfizer and Moderna are not effective against the Omicron variant of the virus, the companies ...
Video of three trams at standstill on Brussels intersection goes viral
A video of three trams at a standstill in a triangle at an intersection in the Brussels municipality of Schaerbeek last weekend went viral, as it ...
Fake PCR tests lead to court hearings for 160 air passengers
In recent months a high number of passengers arriving at Brussels Airport have been found to have fake negative PCR tests; 160 travellers will appear ...
No crowds, limited events: these measures take effect today
Most of Belgium's latest measures already took effect on Saturday, but some changes – concerning public events, sports competitions and schools – ...
Brussels and Liège residents invited to sleep rough to raise awareness for homeless
As temperatures dip below freezing, sleeping on the streets becomes potentially life-threatening, even without factoring in the myriad other hazards ...
Belgium in Brief: Delta, Gamma… Omicron?
Since June, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is no longer calling newly-discovered coronavirus "variants of concern" after the country where they ...
Omicron variant poses ‘very high’ global risk, warns WHO
The Omicron coronavirus variant poses a "very high" global risk for which countries must be well-prepared, said the World Health Organisation (WHO) ...
De Croo: ‘The one certainty that we can rely on is the impact of our personal behaviour’
On Monday morning, Prime Minister Alexander De Croo spoke on La Première radio station about the recently-announced coronavirus measures and, in ...
Booster vaccines already available for all Brussels residents
All residents of the Brussels-Capital Region from 18 years old can make an appointment for a third/booster dose against the coronavirus from this ...
Covid-19 decisions made ‘too hastily’, socialist leader argues
The government is missing a "general lack of method" when it comes to how coronavirus fighting measures are decided on, according to the leader of ...