Migrant crisis in Europe

This item appears on page 18 of the October 2015 issue.

Of the large numbers of migrants overwhelming many European countries in 2015, many are escaping wars and violence in Africa and the Middle East. The greatest numbers of asylum seekers are fleeing from Syria, but many are emigrating from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Nigeria and Somalia.

In 2015, Frontex, the European Union’s border service, detected more than 340,000 migrants crossing into Europe through August, with many more undetected. Within that same period in 2014, the number was estimated at 123,500. 

In addition to the migrants who have successfully entered Europe, at least 2,300 have drowned attempting to cross the Mediterranean, with more than 100 people dying on Aug. 27 when two migrant ships capsized off the coast of Libya. On the same day, 71 migrants were found dead in a semi-trailer truck in Austria. 

The number of asylum seekers has also increased, with the most popular country for asylum applications, Germany, expecting more than 800,000 applications by the end of 2015, 600,000 more than it had in 2014. 

Migrants clashed with Macedonian riot police on the Greece/Macedonia border on Aug. 21 after Macedonia closed its border. More than 158,000 migrants have entered Greece, moving through Macedonia to other nations. Macedonia reopened its borders to migrants on Aug. 23.

As of press time, hundreds of migrants trying to enter Germany via train were stranded in Hungary after Hungarian officials stopped trains from going on to Germany. Officials claim they are trying to uphold the “Dublin Regulation,” a European Union rule that says that refugees must seek asylum in the first EU country they encounter, which, largely in this case, was Greece.