EU external borders in October: Number of irregular entries on the rise


In the first ten months of this year, 281 000 irregular entries were detected at the external borders of the European Union, according to preliminary calculations.* This represents an increase of 77% compared with the same period of last year and is the highest since 2016. The Western Balkan route into the European Union remains the most active.

In October, EU Member States recorded about 42 000 irregular crossings, 71% more than in the same month in 2021.

In total, more than 2 300 standing corps officers and Frontex staff are taking part in various operational activities at the EU external border.

Key developments:
  • 281 00 irregular entries recorded in first ten months of 2022
  • 42 000 irregular entries recorded in October
  • Western Balkan route is the most active
  • Western Mediterranean, Eastern Land Border routes see drops in detections

Top migratory routes:

The Western Balkan route continues to be the most active migratory route into the EU with more than 22 300 detections in October, nearly three times as many as a year ago.

So far this year, the Western Balkan region has registered the highest number of detections since the peak of the migration crisis in 2015. The high number of irregular border crossings can be attributed to repeated attempts to cross the border by migrants already present in the Western Balkans, but also to persons abusing visa-free access to the region. Some migrants using visa-free access travel through Belgrade airport and then overland towards the EU external borders.

Responding to this extraordinary migratory pressure, Frontex supports the Western Balkan Countries with more than 500 standing corps officers and staff in the region.

Meanwhile, the Central Mediterranean route has seen a 59% rise in the number of irregular border crossings detected in the January-October period, increasing to over 85 000, making this the second most active migratory route into the EU.

In the first ten months of 2022, the number of irregular migrants detected in the Channel stood at 62 000, which represents a 70% increase compared to the same period in 2021, including both attempts and crossings in small boats. This trend is expected to surge before the winter conditions makes more difficult the sea crossings.

Due to the large number of arrivals and delays in reporting the press release was updated on 15 November.

*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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