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EU: three million migrants expected by 2017

November 5, 2015

The EU Commission has said it expects three million migrants to arrive in the 28-nation bloc by 2017. The migrant influx is expected to provide a small boost to the economy, the EU's economic commissioner said.

Europe struggles to cope with its largest refugee crisis in more than half a century.
Image: Reuters/A. Bronic

The European Commission, the EU's executive arm, published its European Economic Forecast for 2015 to 2017 on Thursday, stating that "three million persons" are expected to arrive in the 28-nation bloc by 2017.

"This corresponds to an increase in the population of 0.4 percent after taking into account that some asylum seekers will not qualify for international protection," the report noted.

The EU's executive body added that it expects one million arrivals in 2015, with another 1.5 million in 2016, until the rate drops to half a million in 2017.

Positive outlook

EU economic commissioner Pierre Moscovici said that the surge in migrant arrivals could provide a small but noteworthy boost to the bloc's economy.

"There will be an impact on growth that is weak but positive for the EU as a whole, and that will increase GDP (gross domestic product) by 0.2 to 0.3 percent by 2017," Moscovici said in a statement on Thursday.

"That will combat a certain number of received ideas and backs the politics of President (Jean-Claude Juncker)," who has called for increased European solidarity in tackling the migrant influx, Moscovici noted.

The commissioner said in a tweet that the 28-nation bloc's economy "remains on recovery course."

Europe has struggled to manage a migration wave that has witnessed more than half a million enter the EU in 2015, according to figures provided by the International Organization for Migration (IOM).

Infographic of the Balkan route used by refugees, asylum seekers and migrants.

ls/kms (AFP, AP)