The easing of corona restrictions in many countries has increased the number of illegal border crossings. People smuggling networks are also becoming increasingly active.
Warsaw (dpa) – The number of unauthorized border crossings into the EU on the main migration routes has increased by 59 percent in the first half of the current year compared to the same period last year.
By the end of June, a total of about 61,000 cases had been registered, as announced by the EU border security agency Frontex in Warsaw. The agency mentions the increase that was still in force in many countries a year ago, which have now been relaxed.
The strongest increase in the first six months of the current year occurred on the Western Balkan route. The number here was 18,600 – 92 percent more than in the same period in 2020.
In June, the number of illegal border crossings increased, especially on the route across the central Mediterranean to Malta and Italy. 4,700 illegal border crossings were registered here – twice as many as in June 2020. Frontex attributes this to the resumption of human smuggling networks in Libya and Tunisia.
There was little change on the route across the western Mediterranean to Spain. The number for June was 870 – about the same as in the same month last year.
On the route across the Eastern Mediterranean – through Turkey and Greece – the number of illegal border crossings fell to 1,110 in June. In the entire first half of the year, there were 7,340, 40 percent less than in the same period of the previous year .