In the first six months of this
year, the number of detections of irregular border crossings at EU’s external
borders reached 132 370, the highest total for the first half of the year since
2016 and 10% more than a year ago, according to preliminary calculations*.
The Central Mediterranean remains
the main migratory route into the EU, accounting for nearly half of all
detections at EU borders in the January-June period. The number of detections
rose to almost 65 600, the highest number on this route for this period since
2017 and nearly 140% more than a year ago.
Nearly 2 900 standing corps
officers and Frontex staff are involved in various operations supporting member
states and neighbouring countries in protecting the EU's external borders and
- In June, there were 29 240 detections of irregular
border crossings, up 40% year-on-year. Highest since 2016.
- The Central Mediterranean route accounted for half of
the irregular crossings into the EU so far this year.
- Entries on other migratory routes into the EU declined.
The Central Mediterranean
remains the most active route into the EU this year, with nearly 66 000
detections reported by national authorities in the first six month of 2023.
This route accounts for one of every two irregular entries into the EU in this
Arrivals on all the other
migratory routes saw declines from a year ago, ranging from 6% on the Western
Mediterranean up to 34% on the Eastern Mediterranean route.
After a decrease in May caused by
long periods of bad weather conditions, smugglers stepped up their activities,
resulting in an 85% increase of arrivals in the Central Mediterranean in
Increased migratory pressure on
this route may persist in the coming months with smugglers offering lower
prices for migrants departing from Libya and Tunisia amid fierce competition
among the criminal groups.
Regrettably, the sea crossings
remain extremely dangerous. According to IOM data, almost 1 900 people went
missing in the Mediterranean in June alone, with the vast majority on the
Central Mediterranean route.
During January-June period, the Western
Balkan route, the second most active route with nearly 40 000 detections,
saw a decline of 29%, in large part due to tighter visa policies.
The number of irregular crossings
in the English Channel towards the UK in June increased to 5 900
detections and was the highest this year. Periods of good weather have led to a
rise in the number of detections, with smugglers also resorting to simultaneous
departures to boost the odds of reaching the UK.
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