The EU wants to expel more migrants because of an increase in illegal arrivals. European Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson noted that more rejected asylum seekers should be deported to their home countries as EU capitals insist on a tougher approach in the face of rising illegal migration, POLITICO reported.
She said the number of asylum applications is three times higher than the number of illegal arrivals, so reception capacity is overwhelmed. Many applicants don't really need international protection, she added.
Earlier this week, the European Commission unveiled its plan to speed up the return of migrants to countries outside the European Union.
EU migration authorities have requested the deportation of 342,100 people in 2021, when complete data are available. Only 24 percent were deported to countries outside the bloc in 2021, according to Eurostat.
The rising number of arrivals has put an explosive topic back on the EU agenda, with some leaders, such as Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer, publicly calling on the EU to fund a 2 billion euro fence along Turkey's border with Bulgaria, where more and more migrants are staying.
Johansson has resisted pressure from member states to use EU funds to build border control infrastructure.
In an interview with POLITICO, European People's Party leader Manfred Weber urged the Commission to study the possibility of building fences.
Migration is one of the key issues on the agenda of the next European Council meeting, scheduled for early February in Brussels.