Risk Analysis for 2019

On 20 February 2019, Frontex published its Risk Analysis for the year 2019.

According to the report, illegal border-crossings in 2018 amounted to 150,114 – 27% less than in 2017. The report sees the primary reason for this decrease in the dramatic fall in the number of migrants on the Central Mediterranean route. As a consequence, the spotlight moved onto the Western Mediterranean route, which had become the most frequently used route into Europe in 2018. The implementation of a relocation and return programme in Turkey for irregular Syrian migrants marked the most significant development of the Eastern Mediterranean route in 2018. It was also observed that the visa-free entry to the Russian Federation for the FIFA World Cup for those in possession of match tickets in 2018 created a temporary opportunity to reach the EU’s external borders.

Looking at migrants’ nationalities, the report finds Syrian, Moroccan, Afghan, and Iraqi migrants to be the top four nationalities in 2018.

Secondary movements continued on a large scale during 2018. Accordingly, the report finds a 13% increase in the inland detection of people smugglers as well as a significant increase in document fraud, which reached its highest level since 2013.

With 148 121 effective returns of migrants who were not granted asylum or subsidiary protection, the number of effective returns in 2018 once again fell short of the [286 875] decisions issued by Member States to return migrants.

Ultimately, the report underlines the increasing workload for border guards in Member States who were faced with another increase in entry and exit checks due to yet another rise in passenger flows [in 2018] and the 2017 expansion of systematic checks on those passengers enjoying the right of free movement under EU law.

News Guide

EU Frontex


Cornelia Riehle LL.M.

Academy of European Law (ERA)

Criminal Law

Deputy Head of Section