In the first three months of
2023, the number of irregular border crossings reported by national authorities
increased to 54 000, 26% more than in the same period last year. The Central
Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes remain the most active.
In March, more than 22 500
irregular border crossings were detected at EU’s external borders*, 60% more
than a year ago.
More than 2 400 standing corps
officers and Frontex staff are taking part in operational activities protecting
EU’s external borders and supporting EU member states and neighbouring
countries facing various challenges at the external borders.
- 54 000 irregular border crossings detected in the first
three months of 2023
- Central Mediterranean route accounts for more than half
of all irregular border crossings into the EU
- Nationals of Syria, Cote d'Ivoire and Guinea account for
the largest number of detections
Top migratory routes
The Central Mediterranean
was the most active route in the first quarter of the year with nearly 28 000
irregular border crossings, three times the number from a year ago. In March,
the total detections on this route increased almost nine-fold compared to last
year to more than 13 000.
Organised crime groups took
advantage of better weather and political volatility in some countries of
departure to try to smuggle as many migrants as possible across the Central
Mediterranean from Tunisia and Libya.
Western Balkans remains
the second most active migratory route with nearly 15 000 detections, although
it continues to see smaller numbers than a year ago. The decline can be
attributed to the visa-policy alignments in the region with the EU and the
reinforcement of border control capacities by Hungary.
The number of irregular crossings
in the English Channel towards the UK in the first quarter fell 15% from
a year ago to 7 400 (detections on both sides of the Channel). This temporary decrease
can be attributed to unfavourable sea condition.
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 cross the border several times in different locations at the external
*The figure includes other
less active migratory routes not mentioned in this press release. The final
figures may be higher due to delayed reporting.