In February, 3 400 irregular
border crossings were detected on the four main migratory routes into the EU,
down nearly three-quarters from the year-ago period.
In the first two months of
this year, the total number of irregular border crossings almost halved to 12
000, in large part due to lower migratory pressure on the Central Mediterranean
The number of migrants
arriving in Italy via the Central Mediterranean route in February fell to below
800, less than one-tenth of the figure from the same month of 2017. The total
number of migrants detected on this route in the January-February period fell
by 61% to 5 200.
As the number of migrant
boats leaving the Libyan shores plunged last month due to increased activities
of the Libyan Coast Guard and poor weather conditions.
far this year, Eritreans have been the largest group of migrants detected on
this route, followed by nationals of Tunisia.
Last month, the number of
irregular migrants reaching Spain fell by a quarter compared to a year ago to 1
050. In the first two months of 2018, there were 2 500 irregular border
crossings on the Western Mediterranean route, close to the figure from a year
Nationals of Guinea accounted
for the highest number of arrivals in Spain, followed by those from Morocco and
Mali. In line with seasonal patterns, the number of Algerians has decreased in
the winter period.
In February, the number of
irregular migrants taking the Eastern Mediterranean route, mainly reaching the
Greek islands, stood at 1 600, roughly in line with the number from February
2017. In the first two months of this year, more than 3 900 migrants entered
the EU through the Eastern Mediterranean route, 11% more than in the same period
The largest number of
migrants on this route in the first two months of the year were nationals of
Turkey and Syria.
The number of detections on
the Western Balkan route remained relatively low in February, when roughly 150
migrants were detected, due to close cooperation on border control among the
countries of the region.
The data presented in this statement refer to the number of detections of
irregular border-crossing at the external borders of the European Union. The same
person may attempt to cross the border several times in different locations at
the external border.