The EU Border and Guard Agency, Frontex, has revealed that 17 per cent more people have irregularly crossed the border to the EU between January and November, totalling 279,350 people entering the zone irregularly.
According to a press release by Frontex, most border crossings happened at the Central Mediterranean route, accounting for one out of every two detections for the year. However, compared to the previous month, border crossings in this route dropped by a third, leaving place for the Western Balkan route to become the most active route.
The countries of origin for border crossings for this period remain Syria, while nationals of Guinea and Cote d’Ivoire become the top nationals to irregularly cross the border to the EU.
47% of All Detections Were Made on the Central Mediterranean Route
Around 131,600 border crossings were reported en route since the year began, making it the most active for irregular migrants to Europe.
Unfortunately, the sea crossings remain extremely dangerous. According to IOM data, more than 2 384 people went missing in the Mediterranean so far this year, with the vast majority on the Central Mediterranean route.
According to Frontex, economic reasons will be the main push factor for migration to the EU in the current and upcoming years.
Western Balkan Route Becomes Most Active in Q3 2023
Between July and September, 18,832 irregular border crossings were recorded on this route – 23 per cent of all detections recorded on this route in all year (81,830). This route, including countries like Albania, North Macedonia, Kosovo, Montenegro, Serbia, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, is the second most active for the year, right after the Central Mediterranean.
The countries of origin for migrants through this route for 2023 were Syria, Afghanistan and Turkiye.
Frontex also reveals that this route’s activity saw a 23 per cent decline, mainly due to tighter visa policies imposed by some countries.
Border Crossings in Eastern Mediterranean & Western Africa Surge Unlike Those in Eastern Land Border & English Channel
Border crossings through the Eastern Mediterranean route increased by 11 per cent this year, totalling 36,099, while 10,728 entered the zone in September alone. Syrians, Palestinians and Afghanis were the most common nationalities on this route.
Similarly, Western Africa saw a surge of 18 per cent in border crossings, the majority of which came from Morocco, Senegal and Cote d’Ivoire. In total, 3,743 border crossings through this route were recorded in September, while the total since the year began has peaked at 14,564.
On the other hand, border crossings to Eastern Land Border dropped by 11 per cent this year, totalling 4,281. Similarly, exits towards the UK dropped by 12 per cent to 10,190 in September. Regardless, the number of border crossings on this route is 46,509, and the majority of migrants come from Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq.
Western Mediterranean witnessed no activity – 995 detections were recorded in September and 10,401 since the year began, while the countries of origin were Ukraine, Afghanistan and Syria.