Situation at EU external borders – Detections rise from record lows a year ago

The number of illegal border crossings at Europe’s external borders in the first five months of 2021 reached over 47 100, 47% more than the total from a year ago when irregular migration dropped due to travel limitations linked to the outbreak of COVID, according to preliminary calculations.

In May, the number of illegal border crossings reached 10,500, more than double the figure from the same month of last year.

Central Mediterranean

The number of migrants crossing the Central Mediterranean in May rose to almost 4 200, more than twice the figure from a year ago.

Between January and May of this year, the total number of illegal crossings on this route more-than-doubled to over 15,700.Nationals of Tunisia and Bangladesh accounted for the two main nationalities on this migratory route.

Western Mediterranean

There were more than 1,350 detections of illegal border crossings in the Western Mediterranean in May, nearly twice as much as in the same month of 2020.

The total for the first five months of 2021 stood at more than 4,550, or 21% higher than in the same period in the previous year.

Algerians accounted for three of every four detections on this route this year, while Moroccans made up most of the remaining arrivals.

Eastern Mediterranean

According to the most recent data, there were fewer than 1,400 detections of illegal crossings reported in May on the Eastern Mediterranean route, a three-fold rise from the same month last year.

In the January-May period, the total number of detections nearly halved to 6,200.

Nationals of Syria and Turkey accounted for the largest number of detected migrants.