The EU’s border protection agency Frontex says the number of irregular border crossings at Europe’s external borders dropped by 40 percent in the first two months of 2021, compared to the same period last year, to 12000.
For example, the number of illegal border crossings in February reached 4 650, about half the figure from the same month of last year.
It also noted an increase of some 26 percent to 4300 in the number of attempts to cross from Libya in the period. People from the Ivory Coast and Tunisia made up the bulk of the Libyan crossings.
In a related development, Frontex has predicted that the coronavirus pandemic would lead to a significant increase in irregular migration to Europe in 2021.
The agency believes that the adverse economic impact of the pandemic on countries in Africa and Middle East would cause many young people to seek opportunities in Europe through irregular routes.