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14 Aug. 2023

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Migration to Europe: Frontex records a record increase in illegal border crossing attempts in the EU

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Migration to Europe: Frontex records a record increase in illegal border crossing attempts in the EU

Europe receives a large number of migrants from all over the world, but in the first 7 months of 2023, a record number of illegal border crossing attempts were recorded. Find out what routes migrants use and what is happening on European borders

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Since the beginning of 2023, 176.1 thousand people have tried to enter the European Union by illegally crossing the bloc's external borders. According to the latest report by the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex), this is the highest figure recorded for January-July since 2016. Compared to last year, the figures are up by 13%. 

What ways migrants use to illegally cross EU borders and how the situation has changed in 2023 are described in the article below.


As a reminder, the number of Wagnerians in Belarus has increased significantly in recent weeks, as has the number of provocations by Lukashenka. Read more about what the mercenaries are trying to achieve by intimidating people, how Poland is preparing for possible military threats, and whether there is a real threat to Europe today here.


Which routes to Europe are most often used by illegal migrants?


According to Frontex, the Central Mediterranean route remains the main migration route. This route accounts for more than half of all cases of registered attempts to illegally cross borders. In addition, it is noted that it is on this route that the number of irregular crossings from January to July this year has more than doubled, or 115 percent.


"The Central Mediterranean remains the most active route to the EU this year, with national authorities reporting more than 89,000 detections in the first seven months of 2023. This is the highest figure on this route for this period since 2017," the agency said.


Frontex notes that amid fierce competition between criminal groups, this route will continue to see a large number of attempted illegal crossings by smugglers offering low prices for migrants trying to leave Tunisia and Libya.




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Where is the decline in illegal border crossing attempts recorded?


According to the report, other migration routes have seen a decrease in the number of crossings. The figures range from 2% on the Western Mediterranean route to 29% on the Eastern Mediterranean route.


The Western Balkan route ranks second in terms of migrant activity. More than 52 thousand detections were recorded here. However, compared to the first seven months of 2022, the figure decreased by 26%. This trend is attributed to the tightening of visa policy.


In addition, the agency warns that attempts by migrants to cross EU borders are not only illegal but also dangerous.


"Unfortunately, sea crossings remain extremely dangerous. According to the IOM, from January to July, more than 2060 people went missing in the Mediterranean Sea, with the vast majority on the Central Mediterranean route," the statement said.


We remind you! The EU's response to the flow of refugees from Ukraine contains important lessons for European policy makers. Read more about the benefits of Ukrainian migration in the European Council and why Ukrainians have become useful to Europe in our previous article.


Photo: REUTERS/Borja Suarez




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