The number of illegal immigrants entering the EU through the Balkans has increased by 60% as compared to 2019.
From January to April 2020, 6000 illegal immigrants have entered EU Member States via the Balkans.
In a report regarding illegal border crossings, the European Border and Coast Guard Agency, also known as Frontex, notes that the number of crossings entering the EU via other routes, including that of the Eastern Mediterranean, through Greece, and that of the Western Mediterranean, through Spain, has decreased.
At the same time the number of illegal border crossings on the Western Balkans, and the Central Mediterranean routes have increased significantly.
The total number of illegal border crossings into the EU during this period was 26,650, approximately the same as in January-April of 2019.
As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, Frontex noted that there has been a decrease of illegal border crossings, only 900, in April. This is the lowest number of illegal immigrants entering the EU in a month since 2009.
Compared to March, illegal border crossings decreased by 85%. However, these numbers are expected to rise again once the situation created by the pandemic begins to stabilize.