In 2018, a substantial increase of arrivals has been recorded on the Western Mediterranean route, with over 57,000 irregular arrivals.
In response, the EU has intensified work, launching a number of new initiatives with partner countries. Along other migratory routes, the European Union has put in a place an integrated approach in its migration policy, taking into account the “whole of the route”.
This includes saving and protecting people’s lives at sea, tackling irregular migration, fighting the business of smugglers and traffickers, through close cooperation with partner countries and international organisations, supporting migrants and refugees along the route, as well as creating legal pathways and economic opportunities to offer alternatives to irregular migration.
To take cooperation with partners even further, the same integrated approach is now being applied to the Western Mediterranean route.