In March, the number of detections of illegal border crossings on Europe’s main migratory routes fell by 7% from the previous month to nearly 4 600, mainly due to a drop in migrant arrivals in Spain. The total for the first quarter of 2019 was 13% lower than a year ago at around 17 900.
The Eastern Mediterranean route accounted for two out of every three irregular migrants detected at EU borders in March. The number of migrants taking this route last month increased by 10% from February to more than 3 000.
In the first three months of this year, the total number of detections in this region also rose by 10% form a year ago to above 9 000.
One out of three detected migrants in this corridor were nationals of Afghanistan, usually arriving by sea. One out of every five was of Turkish nationality, mainly crossing the land border.
The Western Mediterranean saw the number of irregular migrants in March halve from the previous month to around 450.
Because of a large number of arrivals at the beginning of the year, the total for the first quarter of 2019 rose to more than 5 450, or 54% above the figure from the same period of last year.
Nationals of Morocco accounted for the largest number of detected migrants on this route in the first quarter.