While the COVID-19 pandemic completely overshadowed the issue of migration to Europe in the media, that does not necessarily mean migration slowed down much. Although the number of migrants decreased year-on-year, the report published by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), Eurostat, and Frontex shows that the number of asylum applications in some EU countries increased.
The key information of the pertinent statistics would probably be that the number of migrants who illegally crossed the EU’s external borders fell by about 13 percent year-on-year in 2020. Instead of migrating from the outside, however, the migration within the continent has become a major problem for some EU countries.
For example, Austria reported even more asylum applications last year than before the pandemic broke out.
The spread of the virus and the subsequent measures have slowed down migration to Europe, but it did not cease. Last year, 124,000 migrants crossed the EU’s external border, and around half a million people applied for asylum. For comparison, in the record year of 2015, there were 1,395,000 applicants and 762,685 the year before. The statistics include the EU countries as well as the United Kingdom, Norway, and Switzerland.