Climate Change, Energy and Environment

Alternative Route Black Sea?

While access to the Mediterranean Sea is getting increasingly difficult, migrants are looking for alternative ways to Europe. Simina Guga takes a look into Romania.

Image: Misty Morning of georgemoga licensed under CC BY NC 2.0



On 13 August 2017, a fishing boat carrying 69 people reached Romania via the Black Sea. A week later, another 70 arrived via the same route. On the 3rd of September 87 migrants reached the Romanian coast, followed by another 97 six days later. Yet another boat was intercepted by the Romanian border police on September 13, carrying 157 people who had embarked on a dangerous three-day journey across the sea from Turkey. Within the span of only one month, a total of 480 people reached the Romanian coast, of which 167 children and 313 adults from Iraq and Iran, most of whom were native Kurdish speakers.  From the beginning of this year around 2000 migrants tried to enter Romania by land, mostly at the borders with Bulgaria and Serbia, a number that has doubled since 2016.

According to those latest figures, the question arises: Does the Black Sea offer a new relevant migration route to Europe and how are the Romanian authorities prepared for the situation? Author Simina Guga tries to give answers in her analysis.

The paper is part of a series of reports on current debates on migration in European countries.

Kontakt Timo Rinke, Head of Regional Project “Flight, migration, integration in Europe”, FES-Office in Budapest.



Guga, Simina

Insights from Romania

Is the Black Sea a relevant migration route?
Budapest, 2017

Download publication (150 KB, PDF-File)

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