Frontex reports record irregular entries into EU in 2023
Europe.- The European Border Agency (Frontex) revealed in a recent report that 2023 witnessed 380,000 attempted irregular entries into the European Union (EU), marking the highest total and the largest percentage increase since 2016. This 17% rise in irregular migration at the EU borders highlights the challenges of border management, as stated by Frontex Director Hans Lejtens.
The central Mediterranean route was identified as the most active for irregular migration, continuing an upward trend over the past three years. Notably, 158,000 irregular migrants were intercepted in this region in 2023, a 50% increase from 2022.
The report further detailed the nationalities of those attempting illegal entry into the EU. Syrians topped the list with 100,000 attempts, followed by individuals from Guinea and Afghanistan. Together, these three nationalities constituted 37% of all arrests, with an increasing number of people from Palestinian territories also attempting entry.
In the eastern Mediterranean, the post-pandemic trend of rising sea infiltrations solidified, leading to 60,000 arrests in 2023. Additionally, there was a notable increase in unaccompanied minors attempting to enter Europe, with a 28% rise from 2022, totaling 20,000.
Of all individuals detained by Frontex in 2023, approximately 10% were women, and another 10% were minors of both sexes, indicating a diverse demographic attempting these irregular migrations. This report underscores the ongoing complexities and challenges faced by the EU in managing its borders and addressing the issue of irregular migration.