Irregular border crossings to EU rose in January-July: Frontex

Irregular border crossings to EU rose in January-July: Frontex

Figure up by 13% to 176,100 crossings, according to bloc's border agency

By Beyza Binnur Donmez

GENEVA (AA) - Some 176,100 irregular border crossings were detected at the EU's external borders in the first seven months of 2023, up nearly 13% from the same period last year, the bloc's border agency said on Friday.

The preliminary calculations showed that the figure was the highest for the January-July period since 2016, a statement by Frontex.

The rise was solely due to the number of arrivals via the Central Mediterranean, which still serves as the primary route for migration into the EU and constitutes over 50% of all detections at EU borders, it said.

According to the agency, the number of unauthorized crossings on this path more than doubled (+115%). Over 89,000 detections were reported by national authorities in the first seven months of this year – marking the highest total on this route for this period since 2017.

"Increased migratory pressure on this route may persist in the coming months with smugglers offering lower prices for migrants departing from Libya and Tunisia amid fierce competition among the criminal groups," it warned.

On the contrary, the arrival numbers for all other migratory routes have reduced from the previous year, ranging from a 2% decline on the Western Mediterranean route to a 29% decline on the Eastern Mediterranean route.

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