Refugee Crisis Timeline

03 June 2016

New shipwreck outside Crete. Possibly 700 on boat, more than  300 feared dead. Crete is opening as a new destination according to IOM

23 May 2016

Gradual evacuation of makeshift camp in Eidomeni. On 27 May UNHCR expresses concern over conditions in new refugee sites

12 May 2016

Schengen internal border controls still in place  

16 April 2016

Pope Francis visits Lesvos symbolically relocating refugees to Vatican.

Read the joint declaration of the Ecumenical Patriarch, Archbishop and Athens and Pope Frances here 

04 April 2016

First boats returning refugees from Greece to Turkey

18 March 2016

As of 20 March all new irregular migrants(sic) crossing from Turkey to Greek islands will be returned to Turkey”

EU-Turkey statement

15 March 2016

EU Council sets up emergency support

14 March 2016

Refugees attempt to cross the closed border to FYROM via river

7 March 2016

NATO ships patrol the Aegean between Greece and Turkey

29 February 2016

Macedonian officers fire tear gas at migrants

18/18 February 2016

European Council

  • Implementation of EU action plan
  • Focus on humanitarian assistance
  • Operationality of hot-spots
  • Border intensification

12 February 2016

Schengen evaluation of Greece finds shortcomings in border procedures

04 February 2016

Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia fences off large sections of its border

03 February 2016

Finalisation of EU-Turkey 3bn agreement

28 January 2016

Since 15 January more than 80 people died in different shipwrecks in the Aegean


By the end of 2015 1.00000 refugees have reached Europe. The population of Europe is 738.442.000. The refugees represent the 0,1% of the total European population. The total number of people killed in Syria represents the 11.5% of the country’s population.

17 – 18 December 2015

European Council

  • Border instensification
  • Cooperation with countries of origin
  • Relocations and returns

15 December 2015

Humanitarian Admissions Scheme for Syrian Refugees in Turkey

08 December 2015

Austria begins constructing fence on its border with Slovenia

29 November

EU-Turkey Meeting (finalisation of agreement)

  • Political and financial engagement between EU and Turkey
  • EU commits to 3 bn
  • EU Readmission agreement is planned for June 2016.

28 November 2015

Macedonia begins erecting fence in its border with Greece

13 November 2015

Paris Attacks

12 November 2015

Valletta Summit on Migration

  • Root-Causes of irregular migration
  • Co-operation on legal migration and mobility
  • Protection of migrants and asylum-seekers
  • Address smuggling and trafficking
  • Re-admission and reintegration

09 November 2015

Justice and Home Affairs Council Conclusions

  • Intensification of hot-spots
  • Speeding up relocation process
  • Asylum procedures at border or transit zones
  • Controls for entry and exit
  • Establishment by Europol of European Migrant Smuggling Centre (EMSC)

30 October 2015                 

100 Children lost their lives since 2 September.

28 October 2015                  

43 refugees (17 men, 6 women, 19 children and an infant die in shipwreck in Lesvos.

Greek coastal guard manages to save 274.

25 October 2015                 

Leaders’ meeting on Western Balkans – Further border intensification.

21 October 2015                  

Shipwreck near Samos – 11 feared dead. Turkish fishermen save infant. 48.000 refugees arrive in Greece in five days.

15 October 2015                  

European Council

  • Basis of EU-Turkey joint action plan
  • Border Intensification
  • Return and readmission plans

09 October 2015                

The first hotspot operates in Lambedusa.

08 October 2015                

High Level Conference Eastern Mediterranean routes

  • Support to Jordan, Lebanon, Turkey and transit countries
  • Intensification of border management
  • Intensification of diplomatic efforts.

22 September 2015            

Establishing provisional measures of international protection in favour of Italy and Greece.

16/18 September 2015

Hungary begins construction of fence in border with Croatia – shocking treatment of refugees.

14 September 2015

Relocation of 40.000 refugees

9 September 2015

Proposal for emergency relocation of  120.000 from Italy, Greece and Hungary.

2 Semptember 2015

11 lives lost in the Aegean – The case of Aylan Kurdi.

31 August 2015

Greek Coastal Guard authorities rescue more than 2500 in one weekend.

20 July 2015

Relocation mechanism for persons in “clear need of international protection”

22 June 2015

EUNAVFOR (operation Sophia) is launched

13 May 2015

European Agenda on Migration

  • Frontex budget is tripled
  • Common Security and Defence Policy Operations
  • Relocation and resettlement plans
  • Working with third countries to tackle migration
  • Implementation of the ‘hot spot’ approach