Migratory pressure up 50 per cent from last year, says EU’s border agency

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(Photo: V4 Agency)

By: V4 Agency

The number of illegal border crossings rose by some 50 per cent between January and May this year compared to the same period in 2020, figures from Frontex show.

Migratory pressure on Europe has further increased, according to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency. Between January and May this year, the number of illegal border crossings at Europe’s external frontiers reached over 47 100, 47% more than during the same period last year, Frontex says.

In May alone, the number of illegal border crossings reached 10,500, more than double the figure registered in the same month a year ago, according to data published by the agency.

Last month, most illegal border crossings occurred in the Central Mediterranean, with the number rising to 4200, more than twice the figure from May a year ago. In the first five months of 2021, the total number of illegal crossings on this route has more than doubled, to over 15,700.

There were more than 1,350 detections of illegal border crossings in the Western Mediterranean in May, nearly 50 per cent more than during the same month of 2020. The tally for the first five months of 2021 stood at over 4,550, fully 21% higher than in the same period last year. This year Algerians accounted for three of every four detections along this particular route.

Latest figures suggest that authorities detected around 1,400 illegal crossings in May near the eastern Mediterranean Basin, a three-fold rise compared to the same month last year. In the first five months of 2021, however, the number of illegal border crossings towards the EU nearly halved, to around 6,200.

Between January and May this year, the Canary Islands – an autonomous community of Spain – saw the arrival of nearly 5,250 irregular migrants, double the numbers measured during the same period last year.

Authorities in the Western Balkan region detected 2,900 illegal border crossings in May, up one hundred per cent compared to the same period a year ago. In the first five months of this year, the number of illegal migrants trying to cross into the EU from any of the Western Balkan states exceeded 14,700, double the total from the same period in 2020. Two of the most frequently detected nationalities were Syrians and Afghans, Frontex’s data suggests.

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