Based on the contributions of the EMN National Contact Points, the report provides a comprehensive overview of national developments in the area of migration and asylum during 2022 in the EU Member States, Norway, Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Armenia.

The most significant event that marked this period was the influx of people escaping the war in Ukraine, which led to the activation of the Temporary Protection Directive. This new challenge added to already existing ones including related to demography, labour market, and the impact of migration on Member States’ societies.

2022 saw a significant rise in asylum applications, with approximately 966,000 applications, representing an increase of about 50% compared to 2021 and the highest number since 2016. Additionally, irregular border crossings reached approximately 330,000 incidents, marking a 64% increase compared to the previous year. These developments created a strain on the asylum systems and reception capacities of both Member States and Norway.

Moreover, sustained and heightened pressures were observed at the external borders of the Mediterranean countries, along the Western Balkan route, and at the EU’s borders with Belarus. The amplified migratory flows, coupled with the conflict in Ukraine, raised concerns regarding security implications and the subsequent risks of migrant smuggling and cross-border criminal activities. Consequently, several EU Member States strengthened their border control measures.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic receded in 2022. This allowed for the lifting of travel restrictions and return operations could resume.

Attracting and retaining qualified workers remained a top priority for EMN Member and Observer Countries in 2022. Throughout the year, the identification of labour shortages and bottlenecks highlighted the ongoing need for reforms to enhance the recruitment of skilled individuals and improve the management of legal migration.

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