Frontex: Arrival of migrants in April: Italy remains higher than year ago, numbers in Greece drop

from European Union
Published on 16 May 2017 View Original

There were more than 14 100 detections of illegal border crossings on the three main migratory routes into the EU in April, 2% higher than the number of detections from the previous month. The total number of detections in the first four months of 2017 fell 84% from the same period of last year to almost 47 000, even though Italy continued to see numbers higher than a year ago.

Central Mediterranean

In April, the number of migrants arriving in Italy through the Central Mediterranean route rose by 19% from March to 12 900. This brought the total for the first four months of the year to more than 37 200, 33% higher than the figure from the same period of 2016.

Nationals from Nigeria, Bangladesh and Ivory Coast accounted for the largest number of the detected migrants. Since the beginning of 2017, the number of migrants from Bangladesh, Morocco and Pakistan has increased. A large number of them have been working in Libya for some time, but decided to leave in recent months because of the unstable situation there and limited employment possibilities.

Eastern Mediterranean

The number of migrants arriving on the Greek islands in the Aegean in April dropped by 46% from the previous month to 1 200. The figure was 68% lower than in April 2016, which was the first full month since the EU-Turkey statement came into effect, leading to a precipitous drop in arrivals.

In April, the Turkish authorities prevented nearly 2 500 migrants from departing from Turkey (including cases where they responded to detections made by the Greek authorities). These figures are similar to those reported in March (2 600).

In the first four months of this year, some 6 100 migrants reached the Greek islands, barely 4% of the number from the same period of 2016.

Syrians and Iraqis accounted for the majority of detections on the Eastern Mediterranean route in April.

Western Balkans

There were fewer than 100 detections of illegal border-crossings in the Western Balkans in April. The reasons for the significantly lower number than in recent months is the fact that fewer migrants have been leaving Turkey through its land borders towards the Western Balkan route. Consequently, the migrants detected at EU’s border in the region are mainly those who have been residing in Serbia and have now been crossing into Hungary, Croatia and Romania.


The data presented in this statement refer to the number of detections of illegal border-crossing at the external borders of the European Union. The same person may attempt to cross the border illegally several times in different locations at the external border.