Paper

Who are the million migrants who entered Europe without a visa in 2015?

| April 2016

In 2015, more than a million migrants were smuggled to Greece and Italy, and a similar
number of asylum claims were lodged in Germany. Presenting an overview of available
statistics, MEI Associate Philippe Fargues addresses three questions: Is this a migrant or a refugee crisis? What triggered the crisis? And last, how can the crisis be resolved?

Around a million people entered Europe in 2015 without a visa, via a range of land and sea routes, and at considerable personal risk. Europe’s Mediterranean shore now has the unchallenged title of the world’s most lethal border. The migrant crisis is also testing some of Europe’s most fundamental values, from the freedom of circulation within its territories, to international protection beyond its borders. This crisis raises several important questions: What is the nature of the crisis? Is it a migrant or a refugee crisis? Are the migrants who enter Europe irregularly looking for economic opportunities or are they seeking international protection? In the rst case, there is a consensus among governments that they must be returned. In the second, as soon as they lodge a claim for asylum, there is a legal duty to keep them until claims are fully processed. And last, how can we best get out of the crisis?

Download the full paper from the National Institute for Demographic Studies here.

For more information on this publication: Please contact Middle East Initiative
For Academic Citation: Fargues, Philippe.. “Who are the million migrants who entered Europe without a visa in 2015?.” Paper, April 2016.