Persecution, conflict and poverty drove more than one million people to seek safety in Europe last year. Significant numbers went missing or died (most drowned) making the arduous journey. The majority who reached Europe made their way across the Mediterranean, arriving mainly in Greece and Italy. For those who survived, arrival in Europe has rarely meant the end of suffering and harsh conditions.
As part of its reflections on EU migration strategy, the EESC published a report based on fact-finding country visits and meetings with more than 180 stakeholders, mainly from civil society organisations actively working with refugees and migrants. The report was presented during the EESC’s March Plenary session, in the context of debates on the EU’s external policy and migration with EU High Representative Federica Mogherini and Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship Commissioner Dimitris Avramopoulos.