EU external borders in September


In the first nine months of this year, nearly 228 240 irregular entries were detected at the external borders of the European Union, according to preliminary calculations. * This represents an increase of 70% compared with the same period of last year and is the highest total recorded for the first three quarters of the year since 2016.

Key developments:

  • 228 240 irregular entries recorded in first nine months of 2022, highest since 2016
  • 33 380 irregular entries recorded in September
  • Western Balkan, Central Mediterranean routes remain most active
  • Western Mediterranean, Eastern Land Border routes see drops in detections

In September, EU Member States recorded about 33 380 irregular crossings, 25% more than in the same month in 2021.

Top migratory routes:

The Western Balkan route continues to be the most active migratory route into the EU with 19 160 detections in September, twice as many as a year ago. The high number of illegal border crossings can be attributed to repeated crossing attempts by migrants already present in the Western Balkans.

The pressure also remains high on the Central Mediterranean route with daily arrivals putting strain on the reception capacities in Italy. Frontex supports the Italian authorities with officers for registration and identification of arrivals. In September, about over 7200 irregular crossings were registered on this route, slightly more (5%) than in 2021.

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, more than 11 million Ukrainian nationals have entered EU from Ukraine since the start of the war. At the same time, a significant number of Ukrainian nationals have returned to their country.

Responding to the high migratory pressure, Frontex has more than 2360 standing corps officers and staff at various sections of the EU external border, as well as in Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Moldova. In total, more than 2 300 standing corps officers and Frontex staff are taking part in various operational activities

In the first nine months of 2022, the number of irregular migrants (~52 700) detected in the Channel surpassed the annual figure for 2021 (~52 000). So far in 2022, this represents a 68% increase on the same period in 2021, including both attempts and crossings in small boats. As the winter approaches, the number of attempts might increase before the sea conditions worsen and make the crossing more dangerous.

*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.