In the first five months of the
year, the number of detections of irregular border crossings at EU’s external
borders reached 102 000, 12% more than a year ago, according to preliminary
The Central Mediterranean remains
the main migratory route into the EU. In the first five months of the year, the
number of detections more than doubled (160%) compared to the same period in
2022. It is the highest number recorded since 2017.
More than 2 700 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 May, there were 19 800 detections of irregular
border crossings, down 31% year-on-year.
- The Central
Mediterranean route accounted for roughly half of the irregular crossings
into the EU so far this year.
- Entries on other migratory routes into the EU declined.
So far this year, the Central Mediterranean remains
the most active route into the EU, with more than 50 300 detections in
January-May reported by national authorities. This route accounted for nearly
half of the irregular entries to the EU in 2023.
The arrivals on the Central Mediterranean route drove
the raise of 12% of all entries to the EU, as arrivals on all the other
migratory routes saw declines ranging from 6% on the Western Mediterranean
up to 47% on the Western African route.
The decrease was mainly related to long periods of bad
weather conditions, which made the already dangerous journeys aboard
unseaworthy boats even more risky. However, migratory pressure in the region
remains high and we can expect an increase in the activity of smugglers in the
region in the coming months.
During January-May period, the Western
Balkan route, which is the second most active route with over 30 700
detections, saw a decline of 25% in comparison to the same period last year.
The declines in this migration
route observed since the beginning of the year are a tangible effect of
countries in the region aligning their visa policies with EU regulations.
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 border.