Just over half a million non-European Union citizens were ordered to leave EU territories in 2017, new data published by Eurostat, the EU’s statistical agency shows. The study, titled ‘Migration enforcement in the EU’, shows that 516,115 non-EU citizens were ordered to leave the EU in 2017, a number which represents a 4.5% increase on the same statistic for 2016.
The EU member state with the largest number of non-EU citizens ordered to leave its territory was Germany, with 97,165, followed by France with 84,675 and the United Kingdom with 54,910, together contributing 46% of the global number.
On its part, Malta ordered 470 non-EU citizens to leave the country throughout 2017; 55 more than the number ordered to leave in 2016, but substantially lower than the past decade’s peak, which was in 2008 when 3,015 non-EU citizens were ordered to leave the islands.
Out of the total number of non-EU citizens ordered to leave, 188,905 were returned outside of the EU; a reduction of 17% when compared with a year before, when there had been 228,625 non-EU citizens returned to a non-EU Member State.
In 2017, a total of 618,780 non-EU citizens were found to be illegally present in the EU. This was down by 37% compared with one year before (983,860) and by 71% when compared with the peak of 2015 when the same statistic stood at 2,154,675.
Five member states together shared 71% of all those found to be illegally present in the EU; with Germany holding the most, following by France, Greece, the United Kingdom and Spain.
Malta meanwhile, according to this report, holds just 530 illegally present third country nationals; a far cry from the 156,710 that Germany holds.
Also in 2017, 439,505 non-EU citizens were actually refused entry into the EU at one of its external borders. This statistic has seen a substantial 13% increase from the previous year, with 388,280 being refused entry in 2016.
Spain was responsible for almost half of the refusals, with 203,025, whilst France was the next highest with 86,320 refusals followed by Poland with 38,660. Together these three countries account for three quarters – or rather 75% – of the total number of non-EU citizens refused entry into the EU in 2017.
Malta itself refused 460 non-EU citizens at its borders throughout 2017. This is the highest number of refused non-EU citizens for the past decade.
Original article found on The Malta Independent