IATE term of the week: Hotspot

March 11, 2016 9:33 am


We have all heard the word “hotspot” before, as it is used frequently and in many different contexts. However, probably not everyone is aware of its meaning when talking about migration. Europe’s recent refugee crisis provoked several talks and international meetings (the latest being last Monday in Brussels) that brought this word under the spotlight.

For this reason, “hotspot” has been chosen as IATE term of the week. It appears that “hotspot” has actually two meanings related to the migration topic.

A migration hotspot is an area affected by a disproportionate migratory pressure (for example, Lampedusa and Sicily in Italy, or Lesbos and Kos in Greece). For obvious reasons, these zones are usually located very close to state borders: they are often the first spots where migrants can find a bit of relief after fleeing their country. It is in these hotspots where most of them enter the EU.

hotspot on iate

The term, however, can also be used to refer to the first reception centres for newly arrived migrants – of course, usually located in hotspot areas. In those centres, people arriving in the EU are identified, registered and fingerprinted for the first time.

One of the main topics discussed during Monday’s meeting in Brussels was the improvement of Greece’s hotspot centres by intensifying security checks and supporting the Greek authorities in the fight against smugglers. You can read the report of the whole meeting here.


The management of the external borders of the EU and hotspot areas was also widely discussed on previous occasions. In the informal meeting of Heads of State and Government of the 23rd of September 2015, the European Commission decided to provide operational support to the Member States most affected by migratory pressure by sending Migration Management Support Teams to stabilise the critical situation; three weeks later, more priority measures were set out in order to start “a new phase in the EU’s response to the refugee crisis” and achieve a “reduction of the pressure on the most affected Member States”.

Contribute to IATE! We would welcome your contribution if you know the correct term in your language and it is among the missing ones or if it needs an update. A terminologist for the respective language will revise your answer and validate it. Given the implications of the process, a delay is to be expected.
Languages to be completed for this term in IATE: BG, DA, DE, HR, PL, SK.





Written by Silvia Morani
Communication Trainee at TermCoord

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