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The maritime immigration route to Italy and Malta becomes minor

(B2) Despite the media uproar on the Italian political scene, driven largely by the diatribes of Matteo Salvini, the number of illegal crossings to Italy (and Malta) has today become a very small minority in the flow of illegal migrants. , if we rely on the latest figures compiled by the European Border and Coast Guard (Frontex).

For the first seven months of the year (January to July 2019), 4890 crossings were detected on the central Mediterranean route, towards Italy and Malta, coming in particular from Tunisia, Sudan and Pakistan. This represents less than 10% of detections (1).

It is the 'Eastern' maritime route (towards Greece) which constitutes the main route: 28.200 people were detected in the eastern part of the Mediterranean towards Europe. Most of them came from Afghanistan and Syria. To this must be added the 1040 crossings via Albania (mainly Albanians).

The 'West' maritime route (towards Spain) constitutes the second main source with 13.164 detections (from Morocco in particular).

And the Balkan route constitutes the third access route: 5794 passages detected (mainly from Afghanistan and Iran) towards Croatia (and Hungary).

Illegal crossing of Eastern European land borders remains very limited (302 detections).

Look the carte of Frontex and download the spreadsheet giving the figures, country of origin by country of origin


  1. We are talking about detection of illegal crossings (which can sometimes overlap with the passage of the same person).

Nicolas Gros Verheyde

Chief editor of the B2 site. Graduated in European law from the University of Paris I Pantheon Sorbonne and listener to the 65th session of the IHEDN (Institut des Hautes Etudes de la Défense Nationale. Journalist since 1989, founded B2 - Bruxelles2 in 2008. EU/NATO correspondent in Brussels for Sud-Ouest (previously West-France and France-Soir).