EU external borders in June: Western Balkan route most active


In the first half of 2022, there were about 114 720* irregular entries to the European Union, according to preliminary calculations. This is about 84% more than in the same period last year.

The most significant increase was recorded on the Western Balkan route, where the number of detections increased nearly 3-fold compared with the first six months of 2021. This increase can be attributed to crossing attempts by migrants already present in the Western Balkans.

People fleeing Ukraine and entering the EU through border crossing points are not part of the figures of illegal entries detected. According to the latest Frontex data, 7.2 million people have fled Ukraine into the EU since the start of the war, including 6.3 million Ukrainians.

In June, Frontex registered 23 290 irregular crossings into the EU, 59% more than in the same month of last year.

At the moment, Frontex has more than 2 200 standing corps officers and staff at various sections of the EU external border, as well as in Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Moldova.

January-June: Top migratory routes

On the Central Mediterranean route, Frontex registered 25 164 irregular border crossings, 23% more than in the first six months of 2021. In June alone, there were 5651 illegal crossings on this route, in line with last year. The main nationalities on this route were Bangladeshis, Egyptians and Tunisians.

On the Eastern land border route, Frontex registered 2452 irregular crossings, 141% more than last year. The main nationalities on this route were nationals of Ukraine, Iraq and Belarus.

The Western Balkan route accounted for half of all the detections with 55 321 illegal crossings, nearly three times the total from the same period of last year. The main nationalities on this route included migrants from Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey.

The number of detections on the Eastern Mediterranean route remains high with 17 957 arrivals (+125%) due to the steady number of arrivals to Cyprus (12 407).

In June, there were 2220 illegal crossings on this route. Most migrants came from Nigeria, Syria and Congo (Kinshasa).

The number of irregular migrants seeking to cross the Channel towards the UK remains high with over 22 400 detections, including attempts and crossings, which represents an 87% increase on the same period in 2021. Migrants continue to make repeated attempts to cross the Channel due to the increase border surveillance along the coastline.

*The figure includes other less active migratory routes not mentioned in this press release. The final figures may be higher due to delayed reporting.

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.

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