EU Sees Decline in Illegal Migrant Numbers, Rise in Number of Those Ordered to Leave
In 2017, there were 37% fewer illegal migrants present in the European Union compared than the previous year, according to the latest statistics from Eurostat, the EU statistical body.
A total of 618,789 illegal migrants were registered in the EU in 2017; the decline compared with 2015, which saw the height of the migrant crisis so far, is 71%.
The top five EU member states with the highest numbers of “non-EU citizens illegally present on their territory” in 2017 were Germany with 156,710, France with 115,085, Greece with 68,110, the United Kingdom with 54,910, and Spain with 44,625.
The 2017 illegal migration figures from Eurostat are released against the backdrop of re-intensified debates over migration all over the EU, and the relative rise of populist political formations.
While the EU saw fewer illegal migrants in 2017 compared with each of the previous two years, it also expelled a higher number of non-EU citizens than it did the year before.
A total of 516,115 non-EU citizens were ordered to leave its member states in 2017, an increase of 4.5% compared with the number of 493,785 registered in 2016.
Germany ordered the most people to leave the EU with 97,165, followed by France with 84,675, and the United Kingdom 54,910.
At the same time, however, in 2017, there was a 17% decline in the number of non-EU citizens who were returned to a third country compared with 2016.
Thus, in 2017, a total of 188,905 non-EU citizens who had been issued an order to leave the territories of an EU Member State were returned outside of the EU.
In contrast, the previous year, 2016, there had been 228 625 non-EU citizens returned to a third country.
Germany reported the largest number of non-EU citizens returned to a third country – 44 960, followed by the United Kingdom with 29 090, and Poland with 22 165.
In addition, the number of non-EU citizens who last year were refused entry to the EU at one of its external borders grew by 13% year-on-year, up to 439,000.
Spain accounted for almost half of all refusals – 203,025 out of 439,505, followed by France with 86,320, and Poland with 38,660.
(Banner image: Eurostat)