The number of detections of irregular
border crossings at EU’s external borders rose by 18% in the first ten months
of 2023 to nearly 331 600, the highest total for the period since 2015,
according to preliminary calculations*.
The Western African route has
seen the biggest rise in the number of irregular crossings, which nearly
doubled so far this year to over 27 700. This is the highest total for this
migratory route since Frontex began collecting data in 2009. The number of
arrivals (13 000) in October was also the highest monthly total on record.
2 600 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 fighting
The Central Mediterranean
remained the busiest migratory route into the EU in 2023 with more than
143 600 detections reported by national authorities in the first three
quarters of 2023. This is the highest total on this route for this period since
However, the number of monthly
detections on this route dropped 50% month-on-month to October to nearly 9 600.
Sea crossings continue to present
extreme dangers. Data from the International Organization for Migration (IOM)
indicates that 2,468 people have been reported missing in the Mediterranean
this year, the majority of whom were navigating the Central Mediterranean
During the January-October
period, the Western Balkan route, the second most active route with more
than 97 300 detections, saw a decline of 22%, in large part due to tighter visa
Despite adverse weather
conditions heightening the risk of life-threatening incidents, in October the
number of detections of irregular crossings remained high in the Channel at over 8 200. Nevertheless,
surveillance efforts, adverse weather conditions, and various other factors
have significantly impacted attempts to cross the Channel. Notably, two-thirds
of these attempts resulted in detection and interception by French authorities or
an attempted crossing that led to a return to shore or a rescue at sea.
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.