No. of illegal EU border crossings in 2022 hits 6-year high: Frontex
Around 330 000 irregular border crossings were detected at the EU's external border in 2022, according to preliminary calculations.
The number of illegal border crossings into European Union countries in 2022 is the highest since 2016, according to the European Border and Coast Guard Agency (Frontex).
"In 2022, around 330 000 irregular border crossings were detected at the EU's external border, according to preliminary calculations. This is the highest number since 2016 and an increase of 64% from the previous year," the statement said.
The 2020 recession caused by the pandemic resulted in a sharp increase in the number of illegal border crossings for two years in a row, according to Frontex.
"The Western Balkan route accounted for nearly half of the total. Syrians, Afghans, and Tunisians together accounted for 47% of the detections in 2022. The number of Syrians roughly doubled to 94,000," the statement said.
The women's share accounted for less than one in ten illegal border crossings, which makes it the lowest, stated the border agency. The share of minors amounted to about 9% of the detections.
In November 2022, Austria should tighten its border security, as the failure of the European Union's migration system has demonstrated deficits in security on the EU's external borders, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said.
"The European migration system has failed, Austria... received over 90,000 applications for asylum. It is too many and it shows that the protection of the EU's external borders is not functioning. It is also a security issue for the EU," Nehammer told journalists.
EU countries are obliged to look for new partners to address illegal immigration because Brussels' proposals on protecting the borders are not efficient, Nehammer added.
On a related note, Lebanese authorities said on December 31, 2022, that 200 migrants were rescued by the Lebanese navy and a UNIFIL mission from a boat that capsized off the coast of Tripoli, near Selaata.
Migrants traveling to Europe in overcrowded boats are rescued in the Mediterranean on a weekly basis, with deaths increasing as a result of boats being overcrowded and capsizing.