The number of illegal border crossings at Europe’s external
borders fell 7% in the first three months of 2021 compared to a year ago to
around 24 000*, largely because of a drop in arrivals in Eastern and Western
Mediterranean, according to preliminary calculations.
In March, the number of illegal border crossings reached
over 5 750, about 4% more than in the same month of last year.
Nearly 1000 irregular migrants reached the Canary Islands in
March, more than twice the total from March 2020.
In the first quarter of the year, more than 3 300 irregular
migrants arrived on the Canary Islands, more than double the total from the
same period of 2020.
Nationals from sub-Saharan countries, most claiming to be
from Mali and Ivory Coast, accounted for the largest number of arrivals.
The number of migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean
rose nearly four-fold in March to almost 1 800 compared to a year ago.
Between January and March of this year, the total number of
illegal crossings on this route more-than-doubled to some 8 450.
Nationals of Tunisia and Ivory Coast accounted for the two
main nationalities on this migratory route.
There were around 1 050 detections of illegal border
crossings in the Western Mediterranean in March, nearly twice the figure from
the same month of 2020.
The total for the first three months of 2021 stood at around
2 700, or 8% less than in the same period in the previous year.
Algerians accounted for three of every five detections on
this route this year, while Moroccans made up most of the remaining arrivals.
According to the most recent data, there were around 1 850
detections of illegal crossings reported in March on the Eastern Mediterranean
route, 43% less than a year ago
In the January-March period, the total number of detections
fell 71% to around 3 300.
Nationals of Syria and Turkey accounted for the largest
number of detected migrants.
There were fewer than 100 detections of illegal border
crossings reported so far on the Western Balkan route in March, although the final
figure will likely be significantly higher.
In the first quarter of this year, nearly 6000 migrants were
detected at EU’s border with the Western Balkan countries, roughly in line with
the total from the same period of 2020.
The two main detected nationalities were Syrians and
*The figure includes other less active migratory routes
not mentioned in this press release. The final figures may be higher due to
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 external border.