The unrelenting—and seemingly ever-increasing—torrent of illegal migration flowing into continental Europe is showing no signs of abating, with nearly 230,000 illegal border crossings detected in the first nine months of this year, alone, according the agency tasked with controlling the European Union’s external borders.
In a press release published Thursday, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known known as Frontex, revealed that some 228,840 migrants illegally crossed EU borders between January and September, up 70% year over year and the highest number registered in the first three quarters since the fateful migrant crisis of 2016.
In its report, Frontex noted that the Western Balkan route—which begins in Turkey, traverses through either Greece or Bulgaria, then passes through Serbia or Slovenia before reaching Hungary—recorded the largest uptick in illegal arrivals, with 106,396 illegal entries detected in the first nine months of 2022, an increase of 170% from the same period last year.
The Eastern Mediterranean route, a small stretch of sea that lies between Turkish and Greek coastlines, saw the second highest increase of illegal entries, with 28,873 illegal entries registered in the same time span, a total that amounts to an uptick of 118% compared the first three quarters of 2021.
Despite seeing a less sharp uptick in illegal arrivals compared to the previous year, the Central Mediterranean route, the stretch of sea that lies between North Africa and Italy, was the second-most traveled migratory path, with Frontex agents logging 65,572 illegal entries, an increase of 42%.
The border agency reported that, by far, the largest number of illegal entries into the bloc took place in September, at 33,380, twice as many as were seen in the same period of 2021. Of that total, well over half (19,160) were recorded along the Western Balkan Route, which as The European Conservative has previously reported, is traveled mainly by Syrian and Afghan nationals.
Frontex’s report comes less than a week after Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán, and Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer met in Budapest to outline a plan to stem the rising influx of illegal migration. As The European Conservative reported, the three Central European leaders agreed to take joint action to curb illegal migratory flows
“We will directly support Serbia to carry out repatriations and not only support technical know-how, but also do everything possible that is necessary, and financially support them,” Chancellor Nehammer said during the press conference.