EU external borders in October: Number of irregular entries on the rise

In the first ten months of this year, 275 500 irregular entries were detected at the external borders of the European Union, according to preliminary calculations by Frontex analysts.* This represents an increase of 73% compared with the same period of last year and is the highest since 2016. The Western Balkan route into the European Union remains the most active.

In October, EU Member States recorded about 36 500 irregular crossings, 47% more than in the same month in 2021. 

In total, more than 2 300 standing corps officers and Frontex staff are taking part in various operational activities at the EU external border.

Key developments: 

  • 275 500 irregular entries recorded in first ten months of 2022
  • 36 500 irregular entries in September  
  • Western Balkan route remains most active 
  • Western Mediterranean, Eastern Land Border routes see drops in detections 

Top migratory routes:

The Western Balkan route continues to be the most active migratory route into the EU with more than 22 300 detections in October, nearly three times as many as a year ago. 

So far this year, the Western Balkan region has registered the highest number of detections since the peak of the migration crisis in 2015. The high number of crossings can be attributed to repeated attempts to cross the border by migrants already present in the Western Balkans, but also to persons abusing visa-free access to the region. Some migrants use visa-free access to travel through Belgrade airport and then head overland towards the EU external borders. 

Responding to this, Frontex has provided more than 500 standing corps officers and staff to the countries in the region.

Meanwhile, the Central Mediterranean route has seen a 48% rise in the number of irregular border crossings detected in the January-October period, increasing to 79 140, making this the second most active migratory route into the EU.

Due to the large number of arrivals, there may be some delays in reporting and final numbers may be higher. 

In the first ten months of 2022, the number of irregular migrants detected in the Channel stood at  62 323, which represents a 70% increase compared to the same period in 2021, including both attempts and crossings in small boats. 

*The figure includes other less active migratory routes not mentioned in this press release. The final figures may be higher due to delayed reporting.