sexta-feira, 15 de maio de 2015

Immigration: a dream called "Europe"

The number of asylum applications in the EU has been on the rise over the past few years. In 2014 the number of people to seek refuge in one of the 28 Member States almost doubled compared to the previous year.

Source: Eurostat

The data published by Eurostat show that Germany is the most requested European Union country. In 2014, about 202 thousand immigrants have requested asylum in Berlin, which represents a third of the total number.

Graphic: data relating to 2014

Source: Eurostat

Several factors are contributing to the increase of requests. Since then, the political chaos in Libya, the advance of radical Islamic State, in countries such as Syria and Iraq, and instability in the Horn of Africa.

The European Union has set up immigration quotas, to accommodate these and other people, but the majority of Member States did not respect them. Portugal, for example, in 2014, take a slice of the residual number of requests. The Nordic countries follow inverse tendency but it is Bulgaria that accepts the highest number of asylum applications. Almost 100%.

Chart: percentage of positive and negative responses to requests for asylum, made to each country, in 2014.

Source: Eurostat

Eurostat data:

If we look at the evolution of the number of refugees, by country, between 2013 and 2014, the Italy registered the biggest growth (143 percent), followed by Hungary (126 percent) and Denmark (105 percent).

Portugal was one of five European Union countries where the number of refugees has decreased between 2013 and 2014 ( -12). The largest falls were registered in Croatia ( -58 percent), Poland ( -47 percent), Malta ( -40%) and Slovakia ( -25).

Comparing with the population of each Member State, the highest percentages of refugees registered in Sweden (8.4 refugees per thousand inhabitants), Hungary (4.3) and Malta (3.2).

On the contrary, the lowest rates were observed in Portugal, Slovakia and Romania. In total the European Union existed 1.2 refugees per thousand inhabitants in 2014.

European Parliament

In order to reduce the disparities between the national asylum systems, the European Parliament adopted, in 2013, the new architecture of the common European asylum system.

See what changed:

Common procedures

"With a view to reducing the disparities between the national asylum systems, the new rules provide common deadlines for responding to requests for asylum (usually six months), better training of professionals who deal with asylum seekers and a specific treatment of unaccompanied minors and other vulnerable persons."

Reception conditions

"The 2003 policy change relating to reception conditions aims to ensure that the detention of asylum seekers is allowed only for restricted reasons and justified (...) and ensure that people with special needs are identified at an early stage of the asylum procedure. "

Suspension of shipments

The new rules also change the so-called "Dublin Regulation" that determines the country of entry into the EU is the country responsible for the asylum application. A change that has caused problems for countries like Italy, Greece and Bulgaria, main gateways for a large proportion of refugees.

The sea of death

The most recent tragedies in the Mediterranean reveal, however, that there is still a long job ahead of backstage politics.

The end of operation "Mare Nostrum" â€" replaced by a European level intervention called Triton â€" brought increased problems to all immigrants who depart in pursuit of the European dream.

The Mare Nostrum operation ended after Italy failed to help to fund the mission valued at nine million euros per year.

Coordinated by Frontex, operation Triton have by mission the border patrol and costs per year approximately 2.9 million euros.

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