The number of illegal border crossings at Europe’s external
borders fell 8% in the first 11 months of this year to 116 840*, largely
because of a drop in arrivals in Eastern and Western Mediterranean, according
to preliminary calculations. Meanwhile, the Western African route continued to
see record numbers of irregular migrants.
In November, the number of illegal border crossings was 30%
higher than in the previous month, reaching nearly 22 800.
More than 8 150 irregular migrants reached the Canary
Islands in November compared to 517 a year ago. This is the highest monthly
total for this route since Frontex began to collect the data in 2009.
In the first 11 months of the year, almost 19 600 irregular
migrants were detected reaching the Canary Islands. Most of these arrivals were
recorded since the beginning of August.
Nationals from sub-Saharan countries and Morocco accounted
for most of the registered arrivals.
The Central Mediterranean saw a 61% rise in illegal border
crossings from the previous month to around 5 400.
In the first 11 months of this year, the total number of
illegal crossings on this route more than doubled to nearly 34 200.
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 around 1 450 detections of illegal border
crossings in the Western Mediterranean in November, half the total from the
The total for the first 11 months of 2020 stood at close to 15
900, or 29% less than in the same period in the previous year.
Algerians accounted for two-thirds of all detections on this
route this year, while Moroccans were the second most represented nationality.
According to the most recent data, there were around 750
detections of illegal crossings reported in November on the Eastern
Mediterranean route, less than half the figure from October. Most of the
detections took place at the land border.
In the January-November period, the total number of
detections dropped by three-quarters to around 18 500.
Nationals of Syria, Afghanistan, and Turkey accounted for
the largest number of detected migrants.
There were 3 200 detections of illegal border crossings on the
Western Balkan route in November, 16% fewer than in October.
In the first 11 months of this year, nearly 23 300 migrants
were detected at EU’s border with the Western Balkan countries, more than
double the total from the first 11 months of 2019.
Some 60% irregular migrants detected in the region so far
this year was Syrian, while Afghans accounted for another 20% 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
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