The Mediterranean Sea has been a gateway for centuries for those seeking a better life in Europe. But in recent years, the region has seen a dramatic shift in the number of migrants seeking to cross its waters.
In 2015, the European Union (EU) experienced its largest influx of migrants since World War II, with over one million people arriving in Europe. The majority of these migrants were from Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq, fleeing war, poverty, and persecution.
The EU responded to the crisis by tightening its borders and introducing stricter asylum policies. This led to a sharp decline in the number of migrants entering Europe, with the number of arrivals dropping by more than two-thirds in 2016.
However, the recent surge in migration to Europe suggests that the crisis is far from over. In the first five months of 2018, the number of migrants arriving in Europe by sea has already exceeded the total for 2017.
This increase in migration has been attributed to a variety of factors. Many of the migrants are fleeing conflict and poverty in their home countries. Others are seeking economic opportunities in Europe, or attempting to reunite with family members who have already made the journey.
The EU is once again struggling to cope with the influx of migrants. Several countries, including Italy, have refused to accept new arrivals and have even threatened to close their ports to refugee ships.
The EU is now looking for ways to address the root causes of the migrant crisis. This includes providing aid to countries in the Middle East and North Africa, as well as investing in economic development in the region.
At the same time, the EU is also attempting to strengthen its borders and reduce the number of migrants arriving in Europe. This includes increasing the number of border patrol officers, introducing new surveillance technologies, and introducing new rules on asylum seekers.
The EU is facing a difficult task in balancing its humanitarian obligations with its need to protect its borders. As the number of migrants continues to rise, it is clear that the EU must find a way to address the root causes of the crisis and ensure that its borders remain secure.