European Union: Illegal Migrant Border Crossings Up 70 Per Cent in First Ten Months of the Year

Migrants line up outside the transport and logistics centre near the Bruzgi border point on the Belarusian-Polish border in the Grodno region on November 20, 2021. - Poland said on November 20, 2021 that Belarus has changed tactics in their border crisis by now directing smaller groups of migrants to …

The European Union border agency Frontex has reported that in the first ten months of 2021, illegal crossings into the political bloc have increased by 70 per cent compared to the same period in 2020.

Frontex announced this week that from January to October, there have been a total of 160,000 illegal border crossings recorded into the European Union, with nearly 22,800 last month, alone, representing a 70 per cent jump over last year.

The Central Mediterranean route, in which migrants travel primarily from Tunisia and Libya to Italy, saw the most growth so far this year, with a recorded 55,000 illegal crossings in the first ten months of the year, InfoMigrants reports.

Tunisian, Bangladeshi, and Egyptian migrants represented the main nationalities using the Central Mediterranean route this year.

Italy, especially the island of Lampedusa, has been inundated with migrant arrivals over the past several months. Lampedusa has seen its migrant reception facility, intended for just 250 people, overcrowded on multiple occasions as authorities were forced to transfer migrants to Sicily and the Italian mainland after their arrival.

In a single day in September, nearly 700 migrants arrived on the island, which has become a popular destination for illegal boats due to its proximity to Tunisia.

The second-largest surge in illegal crossings took part in the Western Balkan route, which saw 48,500 crossings into the European Union this year, an increase of 140 per cent over last year and a massive 840 per cent increase from 2019.

The ongoing crisis on the Polish-Belarusian border has also seen a significant increase in migrants attempting to break into the EU over prior years, however, overall numbers have remained low in comparison to other migrant routes.

Both Poland and the European Union have accused Belarus of using migrants in an attempt to engage in “hybrid warfare” to destabilise the European Union in response to sanctions enacted against eh country earlier this year.

Poland’s Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki called the crisis the greatest attempt to destabilise Europe since the Cold War, saying: “This is just the beginning. The dictators will not stop. I want to assure you, Poland will not yield to blackmail and will do everything to stop the evil threatening Europe.”

Others have predicted that the migrant crisis along the eastern European Union border could be long and drawn out, accusing Belarus of trying to exhaust border forces.

Follow Chris Tomlinson on Twitter at @TomlinsonCJ or email at ctomlinson(at)


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