News Release

December figures for three main migratory routes into EU


In December, there were nearly 11 000 detections of illegal border crossings on the three main migratory routes into the EU.

More than 8 200 migrants reached Italy by sea in December, indicating a drop of nearly 40% from the previous month due in large part to wintry weather conditions in the Central Mediterranean. Because of a spike in arrivals over the previous two months, the total number of migrants taking the sea route to Italy in 2016 reached an all-time high of 181 100.

Nationals from Nigeria, Côte d'Ivoire and Guinea accounted for the largest number of arrivals in Italy last month.

Meanwhile, the number of migrants reaching the Greek islands in the eastern Aegean fell to slightly fewer than 1 600 in December, nearly 28% lower than in November. This was less than 2% of the number of migrants arriving on the Greek islands in December 2015.

In all of last year, 175 000 migrants reached Greece by sea, although just one in 10 migrants who reached the islands did so after March. The migration pressure on Greece eased significantly following the implementation of the EU/Turkey statement in late March.

In December, Syrians, Algerians and Afghans made up the largest portion of the migrants on this route.

The number of detections of illegal border-crossings in the Western Balkans last month stood at nearly 1 170, less than 1% of the figure from the same month a year ago. Nationals from Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria accounted for a large majority of the migrants on this route.



The data presented in this statement refer to the number of detections of illegal border-crossing at the external borders of the European Union. The same person may attempt to cross the border illegally several times in different locations at the external border.

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