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24 June, 2024
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Migrant and refugee border crossings down 29%

Less migration activity noted at EU's external borders in 2023

Newsroom / CNA

The number of detections of irregular border crossings by migrants and refugees at EU’s external borders declined by 29% in the first seven months of 2023 compared to the same period last year, according to preliminary calculations published by Frontex.

In July 2023 there was a total of 3,403 detections of irregular arrivals along the Eastern Mediterranean route. A total of 17,054 arrivals were detected in the area during the first seven months of the year. Most of these came from Syria, Palestine and Afghanistan.

Arrivals on all migratory routes saw declines from a year ago, with the exception of that of the Central Mediterranean where detections increased by 115%, and which remains the main migratory route into the EU and accounts for more than half of all detections at EU borders.

Unfortunately, the sea crossings remain extremely dangerous. According to data by the International Organization for Migration, more than 2,060 people went missing in the Mediterranean between January and July, with the vast majority on the Central Mediterranean route.

The Central Mediterranean remains the most active route into the EU this year, with over 89,000 detections reported by national authorities in the first seven month of 2023. This is 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, according to Frontex.

Other migratory saw decreases in arrivals, with a 2% decrease in the Western Mediterranean, a 26% decrease in the Western Balkans and a 15% decrease at the EU’s eastern land border.

However, due to the large number of border crossings at the Central Mediterranean route, the total number of detections during the first seven months of 2023 increased by 13% compared to last year, reaching 176,100. This is the highest total for the January - July period since 2016.

In July, there were nearly 42,700 detections of irregular border crossings at EU external borders, up 19% compared to July last year.

Cyprus  |  migrants  |  Mediterranean  |  migration  |  EU

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