Frontex: Irregular entries at EU external borders in January – October highest since 2016

In the first 2022 months of this year, 275 500 irregular entries were detected at the external borders of the European Union, according to preliminary calculations by analysts at Frontex, the EU border and coast guard agency.

This represents an increase of 73 per cent compared with the same period of 2021 and is the highest since 2016, Frontex said on November 14.

In October, EU member states recorded about 36 500 irregular crossings, 47 per cent more than in the same month in 2021. 

The Western Balkan route continues to be the most active migratory route into the EU with more than 22 300 detections in October, nearly three times as many as a year ago, the agency said.

“So far this year, the Western Balkan region has registered the highest number of detections since the peak of the migration crisis in 2015,” Frontex said.

“The high number of crossings can be attributed to repeated attempts to cross the border by migrants already present in the Western Balkans, but also to persons abusing visa-free access to the region. Some migrants use visa-free access to travel through Belgrade airport and then head overland towards the EU external borders.”

Responding to this, Frontex has provided more than 500 standing corps officers and staff to the countries in the region.

Meanwhile, the Central Mediterranean route has seen a 48 per cent rise in the number of irregular border crossings detected in the January-October period, increasing to 79 140, making this the second most active migratory route into the EU.

Due to the large number of arrivals, there may be some delays in reporting and final numbers may be higher, Frontex said.

In the first 10 months of 2022, the number of irregular migrants detected in the Channel stood at  62 323, which represents a 70 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2021, including both attempts and crossings in small boats, the agency said.

(Archive photo: Frontex)

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