Risk Analysis 2018
According to the report, the number of illegal border-crossings into the EU in 2017 dropped to its lowest in four years, with 204,700 detections of illegal border crossings between border-crossing points. The numbers decreased on the Eastern Mediterranean and Western Balkan routes but also on the Central Mediterranean. However, detections in the Western Mediterranean doubled from the previous record. According to the report, almost two-thirds of irregular migrants arriving at the shores of the EU were African nationals.
Looking at further numbers, the report states that refusals of entry in 2017 went down by 15% to 183,500 refusals. The number of effective returns by Member States decreased by 14% to 151,400. At 10,200 detections, the number of detections of people smugglers/facilitators went down by 19%. With an increase of 10%, one of the highest numbers since 2013 was reached with regard to detections of document fraud on secondary movements within the EU/Schengen area. Frontex’ assistance with returns increased by 33% to more than 14,000 returns in 2017.
Looking at the near future, the report finds that the sea, especially along the Mediterranean routes, remains the most active route for illegal border-crossing into EU. The number of migrants undertaking secondary movements is expected to rise. Given the continuous increase in global mobility and in order to remain effective, border management will increasingly be risk-based to ensure that interventions focused on the movements of high-risk individuals.
As a result of enhanced security features in modern travel documents and stricter migration policies across EU Member States, the report expresses concern that the misuse of genuine travel documents (which includes impersonation and fraudulently obtained documents) will become more widespread in attempts to enter the EU. The report identifies an underlying threat of terrorism-related travel movements and foreign terrorist fighters using irregular migration routes or facilitation networks.