There were around 27 000 detections of illegal border crossings on the four main migratory routes into the EU in May. The total number of detections in the first five months of 2017 fell 75% from the same period of last year to 84 000, although the number of migrants arriving in Italy remained above the figures from a year ago.
In May, the number of migrants arriving in Italy through the Central Mediterranean route rose by 77% from April to 22 900. This brought the total for the first five months of the year to more than 60 000, 26% higher than the figure from the same period of 2016. Roughly three out of every four migrants arriving in Europe so far this year have come through Italy.
Nationals from Nigeria, Bangladesh and Ivory Coast accounted for the largest number of the detected migrants on the Central Mediterranean route last month.
The number of migrants arriving in Greece by both sea and land routes in May rose 31% from the previous month to more than 2 240, in large part thanks to improved weather conditions. The figure was similar to the numbers from May 2016.
In the first five months of this year, some 9 900 migrants reached the Greek islands, 94% lower than in the same period of 2016.
Syrians and Iraqis continued to account for the majority of detections on the Eastern Mediterranean route in May.
The number of detections of illegal border crossings in the Western Mediterranean more than doubled in the first five months of the year compared to the same period of 2016 to nearly 6 000, in large part due to an increased activity at the land borders of Spanish enclaves of Ceuta and Melilla in northern Africa.
In May, the Western Balkans route saw a low number of detections of illegal border-crossings, similar to the previous month. The reasons for the significant drop in recent months is the fact that fewer migrants have been leaving Turkey through its land borders towards the Western Balkans.