EU states "expel" 170,000 by air in 1999

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According to a report by the Council of the European Union's Migration and Expulsion Working Party (MEX WP), 166,909 people were deported by plane from the member states and Norway during 1999. The UK, with over 45,000 expulsions accounts for some 27% of the total. However, it should be noted that the report dated 4 May 2000, did not consider expulsions carried out by other means - such as people expelled at the EU's borders with central and Eastern Europe. (Germany is the EU's largest expelling state if all forms of expulsion are considered).

The table below reproduces the information submitted by national delegations in response to a MEX WP questionnaire. Iceland and Norway also participate in the working group through association agreements concluded under the terms of the Amsterdam Treaty - despite remaining outside of the EU.

Country Number of expulsions Country of nationality Country of destination
U K 45,100 no available data exists no available data exists
Germany 32,233 Turkey, Romania, Ukraine, Bulgaria, Bosnia Herzegovina, Yugoslavia, Poland, etc. not given
Austria 20,207 Romania, Yugoslavia, Poland, Slovakia, Hungary, Republic of China, Macedonia, Czech Republic, Iraq, Moldavia, etc. all deported to country of origin
Netherlands 12,204 Morocco, Poland, Romania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Czech Republic, Turkey, Ecuador, Ethiopia, Ghana, Suriname, Colombia, former-USSR, etc. not given
Italy 12,036 Albania, Algeria, Ghana, Morocco, Moldavia, Nigeria, Tunisia, Romania, Ukraine, etc. not given
Denmark 9,276 Slovakia, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, Russia, Armenia, Turkey, Georgia, Croatia, Poland, India Sri Lanka, Slovenia, etc. not given
France 8,300 Romania, Algeria, Morocco, Tunisia, Turkey, Poland, etc. in EU countries: I, D, E, NL, P, UK, B, A, GR, DK, IRL, S.
in third countries: Romania, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Turkey, Poland, Mali, Senegal, etc.
Sweden 6,735 Poland, Bosnia, Yugoslavia, Bangladesh, Russia, etc. not given
Belgium 6,487 Senegal, Guinea, Cameroon, Nigeria, China, Poland, Romania, Bulgaria, Albania, Ecuador, etc. not given
Finland 5,426 Estonia, Morocco, Iraq, Belgium not given
Spain 5,020 Morocco, Colombia, Algeria, Romania, Brazil, Ecuador, Ukraine, Poland, Russia, Venezuela, etc. not given
Greece 2,880 Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, Moldavia, Pakistan, Georgia, Poland, etc. all deported to country of origin
Portugal 529 Ukraine, Moldavia, Brazil, Romania,
Morocco, Nigeria, Russia, Angola, Guinea
Bissau, Guinea Conakry, Pakistan, China,
etc. all deported to country of origin
Norway 440 Poland, Lithuania, Russia, etc. not given
Luxembourg 30 Bulgaria, Tunisia, Albania, Morocco, China, Ecuador, Bosnia, Brazil, Cameroon, Colombia, Mexico, Nigeria, Romania, Slovenia, Ukraine, etc. all deported to country of origin
Ireland 6 Romania, Russia, Nigeria, Moldavia, etc. In EU countries: F.
in third countries: Romania, Nigeria, Moldavia.
Iceland none - -
TOTAL 166,909 - -

The statistics

The expulsion figures are illuminating because they provide a rare overview of national practices across "Fortress Europe". However, they should be taken as indicative rather than actual.

The report notes that:

each national total includes all expulsions, both deportation and repatriation, irrespective of the status of the person involved ("aliens", "asylum applicants", "non asylum applicants", other cases).

The failure to distinguish between the different forms of expulsion is particularly problematic, not least in the case of "repatriations" which can be "voluntary", "induced" or "forced". It is possible, for example, that repatriation programmes run by a member state may have a significant impact on the data. In addition, with the exception of France, the data does not distinguish whether the expulsion is to the country of origin or to another country. The report suggests that:

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