Numbers of irregular migrants crossing the Mediterranean have
been growing steadily over recent years, before they suddenly exploded
from the second half of 2014. Regrettably, the number of deaths
has increased proportionally. In 2012, 500 people were reported
missing, in 2013, the number grew to 600. There was a dramatic increase
to 3 500 in 2014. This year, it is already 1 500 and each day brings
new dramatic reports. The most recent in the series of deadly incidents
has taken the lives of 800 people.
The situation is not likely to settle down in the near future.
Armed conflicts and instability, persecution based on ethnic or
religious grounds and extreme poverty in Africa and the Middle East
will continue to generate large numbers of migrants, refugees and
asylum seekers. Estimated figures refer to 70 000 people waiting
for boats on the Libyan coast and tens of thousands are on their
way to Libya and Egypt.
The Parliamentary Assembly therefore calls on the member States
of the European Union to adopt a comprehensive approach to deal
with mixed migratory flows across the Mediterranean with a view
to carrying out urgent and concerted action.