For immigrants who wish to enter Europe illegally there are eight main routes as described by the European border management agency, Frontex.
The journey for mainland Europe passes mainly through three routes- central Mediterranean route, eastern Mediterranean route and the western Balkan route. In order to repel the flow of illegal immigrants, countries such as Hungary, United Kingdom, Greece, Spain and Bulgaria have been erecting or fortifying walls.
With the recent news from Cueta, Melilla and Calais where illegal immigrants tried to rush the borders in order to enter either Spain (Cueta and Melilla) from Morocco or else the United Kingdom via France (Calais), the migration issue has resurfaced as a top priority in the EU after it was shadowed by the Greek Crisis for weeks.
The migration issue was put into spotlight after Italy, Spain and Greece voiced their anger towards the EU where they were left without any choice but to accept these illegal immigrants coming into their countries mainly by boats although they have financial problems. The crisis spiralled to the top of the European Union agenda in April after 800 immigrants lost their lives due to a massive shipwreck. Meetings were held between the European Union nations were it was concluded the need for relocation of around 60,000 refugees across the European Union countries.
Even though more than 715,000 people have applied for asylum in the EU during the past twelve months and the Calais crisis, European Commission chief Jean-Claude Juncker on Wednesday said that EU governments have a duty to help the flood of migrants arriving in Europe stating:
“You (EU member states) must not become blinded by populist thought which is present in every country.”
The migration issue will be pushed further into the spotlight after the biggest incident since the April incident just happened today were a boat full with 400 migrants capsized 22 nautical miles off the coast of Libya with 50 migrants already declared dead. Also in the Calais crisis, Frontex will be guarding the borders and deporting back the migrants who manage to make it to British soil. This move by Frontex took place after 600 people were found in the area of the Calais tunnel trying to cross the channel to the United Kingdom.
The stance on immigration is different when comparing European countries to the European Union. France, Spain, Italy, Hungary, Greece, United Kingdom, Malta, Belgium, Denmark, Austria, Bulgaria and lately Germany don’t want to take in more refugees as they can’t cope with these people while the official stance of the EU is to accept everyone and then the possibility of relocation to ease the pressure from these countries hosting the illegal immigrants.
So who does control the borders of countries? The nations themselves or the European Union as a whole? If the migration issue is to be resolved once and for all, borders should be enforced by the nation states and a push back policy applied towards the so called political asylum refugees which are mostly economical and illegal immigrants.