The Washington PostThe Washington Post

Fortress Europe can't stop immigration numbers from rising

By Chico Harlan and Stefano Pitrelli

19 Dec 2022 · 8 min read

Editor's Note

Irregular migration to Europe across the Mediterranean is at its highest level in five years. EU nations remain deeply divided over how to respond. The Washington Post has an on-the-ground report.

CROTONE, Italy - On a continent that has spent years trying to cut off undocumented immigration - using fences, surveillance, financial incentives and sometimes even brute force - the close-the-door strategy is faltering.

Migration across the Mediterranean has crested to the highest level in five years. New nationalities, most notably from Egypt, have joined the stream of people seeking escape to Europe. And hard-line border policies are merely driving smugglers to adapt: Soon after Greek authorities instituted a practice of harsh pushbacks, boats departing Turkey began charting a longer route - bypassing Greece and heading instead to Italy's Calabrian coast, an area that used to see almost no arrivals.

Sign in to informed

  • Curated articles from premium publishers, ad-free
  • Concise Daily Briefs with quick-read summaries
  • Read, listen, save for later, or enjoy offline
  • Enjoy personalized content