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Illegal border crossings hit record highs

Justice & Home Affairs

Illegal border crossings hit record highs

Syrian refugees, many of them children, have been the largest group of people to enter the EU this year, through both legal and illegal means.

[Freedom House/Flickr]

According to a German newspaper report, more people have entered the EU illegally this year than ever before. EurActiv Germany reports.

Between January and November 2015, 1.28 million illegal border crossings were recorded, according to a communication issued by the European Commission entitled “A European Border and Coast Guard and effective management of Europe’s external borders” and cited by Die Welt today (14 December).

The Commission reported in the official document, which is set to be officially published on Tuesday (15 December), that 2015 border crossings are at “an all-time high”, as between 2009 and 2014 a total of only 813,044 crossings were detected.

>>Read: Erosion of Schengen is ‘worrying’, IMF says

The European Commission has advocated tightening up border controls, which it has assessed as being “totally inadequate” and ill-equipped “to ensure an effective and integrated border management”. The executive reported that “Third-country nationals have been able to cross the external borders of the EU illegally and then continue their journey across the EU, without having been first identified, registered and subject to adequate security checks.”

In recent weeks, the very idea of the Schengen area of free internal-movement has been called into question because of factors such as this.

The situation needs to be addressed sooner rather than later and the Commission called for “a strong and unified policy on the management of the EU’s external borders based on the principle of shared responsibility”.