BRUSSELS, August 14 – In the first three months of this year, the number of illegal border crossings of migrants in the Western Balkans dropped by 10% compared to the same quarter last year, said ina statement given by Frontex, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, which released the analysis of the situation in the Western Balkans for 2017. And the first quarters of 2018 years. (English version below)
Pressure is continued to be put on the “sub-route”, the Greek-Albania-Montenegro-Bosnia-Herzegovina-Croatia, which shows that migrants are trying to circumvent the existing security measures on the main route through Serbia.
As in previous years, this analysis concludes, illegal migrants have continued to try to enter the Western Balkans through the southern borders with Greece and Bulgaria, before heading north and trying to leave the region mainly in the northern borders of Hungary, Croatia or Romania with Serbia.
Migrants from Afghanistan and Pakistan are the most numerous among migrants, accounting for about 32 per cent of the total number of migrants. Syrians ranked third in 2017, accounting for 8 percent of the total.
The largest number of illegal border crossings of regional migrants occurred on the joint land borders between Greece, Albania and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Co-operation between law enforcement agencies and improved border control measures were key to reducing the migration pressure in the region, according to the Frontex report.
The report states that last year, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia broke two organized migration groups for migrants who organized transport of the migrants from Greece to Serbia and beyond.
At the same time, Frontex also published data on the number of illegal migration flows into the EU in the first seven months of 2018, which said that over four major migratory routes this number dropped by 43 percent compared to last year.
From January to July, 73,500 crossings were recorded, while in July, 14,900 crossings were recorded, or 18% less in comparison to last July.
More than half of the illegal crossings were detected on a migrant route across the Western Mediterranean.
By the end of July, the number of illegal crossings through the eastern Mediterranean route was around 4,000, which is 17 percent less than in June of this year.
Most migrants came from Syria and Iraq, however in July, most migrants came from Afghanistan according to Frontex.