The number of illegal border crossings at Europe’s external
borders fell by 21% in the first nine months of this year to 72 500*, largely
because of a drop in arrivals in Eastern and Western Mediterranean, according
to preliminary calculations.
In September, the number of illegal border crossings was 19%
lower than in the previous month, reaching over 9 200.
In September, the Central Mediterranean remained the most
active migratory route into Europe with nearly 3 300 detections, although the
figure nearly halved from the previous month.
In the first three quarters of this year, the total number
of illegal crossings on this route more than doubled to above 24 400.
Tunisians have accounted for two out of every five illegal
crossings via the Central Mediterranean, while Bangladeshis were responsible
for one in five.
There were nearly 2 300 detections of illegal border
crossings in the Western Mediterranean in September, 9% more than in the
The total for the first nine months of 2020 stood at nearly
11 000, or 40% less than in the same period in the previous year.
Algerians accounted for nearly two-thirds of all detections
on this route this year, while Moroccans were the second most represented
According to the most recent data, there were around 780
detections of illegal crossings reported in September on the Eastern
Mediterranean route, some 40% less than in the previous month.
In the January-September period, the total number of
detections dropped by almost three-quarters to around 15 300.
Nationals of Afghanistan, Syria and Turkey accounted for the
largest number of detected migrants.
There were over 2 200 detections of illegal border crossings
on the Western Balkan route in September, 22% above the figure in August.
In the first three quarters of this year, more than 15 900
migrants were detected at EU’s border with the Western Balkan countries, 100%
more than in the first nine months of 2019.
More than half of the irregular migrants detected in the
region so far this year were Syrian, while Afghans accounted for another
quarter of all detections at the EU borders here.
*The figure includes
other less active migratory routes not mentioned in this press release. The
final figures may be higher due to delayed reporting. Data as of 13 October
Note: The preliminary
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