Frontex is here to safeguard EU’s external borders and support EU member states with migration management.

From support on the ground and in the air, tailored risk analysis, return operations, providing training to raise the standards of border guarding around Europe, to fighting cross-border crime – we are making the EU a safer place.

Hans Leijtens Executive Director of Frontex


2023 in numbers

EU border guards
deployed on
average each month
stolen cars
potential victims of
child trafficking
people smugglers
cases of document fraud
people rescued at sea with
Frontex support



Situation at the external borders

In 2023, the number of irregular border crossings at the EU’s external borders reached a total of 380 000. This marks the highest level since 2016 and constitutes a 17% increase from the figures in 2022.

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Outside the EU

In today’s interconnected world, whatever happens outside the EU can have an impact on its internal security. Frontex develops and maintains a reliable network of partnerships with the competent authorities of non-EU countries, particularly in countries neighbouring the EU, as well as in countries of origin and transit for irregular migration.

2023 was an important year for our cooperation with EU’s neighbours. We’re especially proud of supporting Ukraine’s border management efforts during trying times by provided 100 patrol cars and other relevant equipment as part of a 12 million euro grant agreement.

The agency also held a meeting between its Management Board and EU pre-accession partners, including Ukraine, Moldova and Georgia.

In Western Balkans, together with the European Commission, Frontex will implement an assistance package worth 39 million euros under the Instrument for Pre-Accession Assistance (IPA III) to strengthen border management.

In the Southern neighbourhood, the agency made strengthened the partnership with Morocco during a visit to Rabat last year.

Fundamental rights

Fundamental rights are the linchpin of migration management, and Frontex, together with its independent Fundamental Rights Office, makes sure that everywhere we are, the rights of people crossings the borders are respected.

More about fundamental rights at Frontex

2023 was the year when all 46 Fundamental Rights Monitors received the full training and started working. With this cruising speed, the Fundamental Rights Office has been able to be more present in the field. We were active in close to 30 countries, especially Greece, Italy, Spain and Romania. We also monitored some 50 return flights, processed more than 50 complaints and about as many serious incident reports during the year.”

Jonas Grimheden, Frontex Fundamental Rights Officer
Effective returns

Effective and humane return operations are the cornerstone of efficient migration management. In 2023, we helped Member States return nearly 40 000 people who have received return decisions from the national authorities, 57% more than in the previous year.

More than half of them returned voluntarily, and we see a steady increase year by year – while in 2022 voluntary returns represented 40% of the activities, in 2023 they amounted to 54%.

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