How Does the Hotspot System Work in the EU’s External Borders?

Etias Immigration
Etias Immigration
Hotspot (a.k.a. Hotspot System) started in 2015. The European Commission developed this action plan to support European member nations by reducing the extraordinary migratory pressure at Europe’s external borders.
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The Hotspot System’s goal is to manage migration responsibly and reasonably, enabling Europe to handle irregular migration. Some states, such as Italy and Greece, face much larger migratory affluence than other European countries, which is why external borders vary by nation.

What is Europe’s Hotspot System?

Some European countries face significant challenges that require support from European agencies. Hotspots are sections along borders that experience higher migratory pressure, and agencies address migratory difficulties using the Hotspot Approach.

Europol and Eurojust are other agencies that assist European member states with specific border control by helping investigate trafficking networks and by preventing smuggling.

Hotspot System – How Does It Work?

The Hotspot Approach provides operational support, focusing specifically on return operations. Member nations need incoming migrants to complete the following processes:

  • Identification
  • Registration
  • Fingerprinting.

These are the agencies deployed to hotspots to support authorities on essential occasions:

  • Europol
  • European Asylum Support Office (EASO)
  • European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex)
  • Eurojust
  • EU-LISA.

With the Hotspot System, migrants are channeled into specific asylum procedures immediately. EASO supports teams that process asylum application. Hotspots contribute to relocation schemes as well, which the EC processes.

FRONTEX is the European Border and Coast Guard Agency responsible for returning migrants who do not need protection. It supports the European Member States by assisting with the deployment of screening groups through registration/identification procedures.

When an irregular migrant is refused or not permitted to stay in the EU, this agency supports the national authorities in returning the migrants.

The EU-LISA agency is responsible for developing ETIAS and providing ICT expertise for asylum-seekers’ fingerprinting.

Use of the Hotspot Approach by European Members

The Hotspot Approach operates in Italy and Greece, but European countries can join the system if needed. After a joint assessment by FRONTEX, additional assistance may be provided. The hotspot is also in charge of implementing emergency relocation mechanisms that are adopted by the Council of the European Union. The procedures relocated more than 160,000 migrants to European countries, and these mechanisms aim to strengthen both European solidarity with asylum seekers and border security.

Most European member states have kept their promises to move. Other countries failed to do so, resulting in infringement proceedings initiated against the Czech Republic, Hungary, and Poland.

Hotspot management is a vital element of Europe’s support to Greece and Italy as they face humanitarian and border management challenges.

Migration is a significant challenge for Europe, as shown by the conditions where asylum seekers are admitted:

  • Overcrowding
  • Poor conditions in the camps, and
  • Inadequate living conditions.

The European Parliament reiterated its call for action for asylum seekers’ protection on behalf of member states.

Hotspot Regions in Europe

The hotspots were first identified when a record number of refugees, asylum seekers, and other migrants gathered outside their borders. These initial reception facilities are located in two European member states: Greece and Italy.

Hotspots in Italy

The Talia government has created 5 hotspots:

  • Lampedusa
  • Trapani
  • Pozzallo
  • Taranto
  • Messina

Hotspots in Greece

Greek authorities have also set up 5 hotspots:

  • Lesbos
  • Samos
  • Chios
  • Kos
  • Leros

ETIAS in the Face of Extreme Migratory Pressures

ETIAS aims to eliminate and reduce migration irregularities in the Schengen area. Online registration will prevent individuals from entering Europe illegally. ETIAS will be mandatory for citizens of 60 countries, but registration will be a simple online process; all you will need is a passport, contact information, and travel details. Upon receiving your application, your will be digitally verified using databases to confirm that you do not pose a threat to citizens and/or travelers in Europe Member States. You will be notified of your ETIAS approval or rejection by email within 24 hours. The application may be rejected if the applicant has violated migration laws in the past.

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