Immigrants who have lost hope in the Aegean islands are directing themselves to a new alternative: the Black Sea Route.
A flow of refugees has accelerated and become very much apparent in the Black Sea over the past weeks. On Saturday, Romanian officials confiscated two boats carrying more than 200 immigrants. According to the officials, one of the boats has been transporting refugees to the Romanian coast since August.
On Saturday and Sunday, Turkish authorities stopped two fishing boats, which had a total of 313 immigrants. Boats moving from the Kırklareli coast were caught by the police while they were on the Bulgarian route. It is reported that passengers were predominantly Iranian and Syrian.
The reactions of Romanian officials was fear that migrants who are trying to reach Europe are using the Black Sea as an alternative route due to the recent closing of the Western Balkans and Aegean routes. According to the Frontext news in July the number of migrants arriving in Greece and Italy decreased as a result of the changes in the migration routes. However because the country is not located in a closed off area, Spain also experiences a quadruple in the number of migrants arriving compared to the same period in last year.
Although Romania is a member of EU, the country is not in the passport-free Schengen zone. Romania is trying to avoid an influx of refugees because this could be the reason for a possible delay of their being accepted into the passport-free Schengen zone.