Winter has not stemmed the flow of people leaving their homes in search of refuge.
Regardless of the conditions, with the Syrian civil war intensifying, there’s little or no sign yet of an end in sight. For some that means walking through the Macedonian countryside in temperatures as low as minus 19 degrees.
For others, the journey to Europe is by sea but no less treacherous.
Having landed in Greece, they’re transported to the Macedonian border with Serbia where after being registered they can remain for 72 hours.
Record number of arrivals
2015 saw a record number of arrivals in Europe with more than million people seeking refugee or asylum. This year has already seen “47,000 people try to enter Europe by the Mediterranean, according to the French-based International Organisation for Migration
Now certain measures are in place to share the responsibility of care among member states. Some of the more richer EU countries, like Germany, France and Spain, are taking additional steps to shelter more people.
But others like Britain – unbound by the EU’s quota system – have decided, after much debate, to change their housing plans. It will now take 20,000 refugees from Syria over the next five years. The first four arrived last week under the Vulnerable Persons Relocation Scheme.
Others face remaining out in the cold; blocked from making any progress. Hungary is one of many countries that closed its borders to refugees and migrants, and it’s not alone either in building a barricade to keep them out.
In total, EU member states have constructed more than 235 kilometres of fences.
The longest is between Hungary and Serbia, but the 30km wall between Bulgaria and Turkey is to be extended by 100km.
An 18km fence separates the Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla from Morocco and Greece too has a 10km barrier in the Evros region along its frontier with Turkey.