The number of detections of illegal crossings in March at EU’s external borders in the Western Balkans have decreased by about 90% compared to February, the EU’s border management agency, Frontex, said on Monday.
Frontex attributed the drop to Macedonia’s decision to significantly reduce the number of migrants it allowed to enter from Greece.
The March figure of 4,930 was also nearly 10% lower compared to the same month of 2015,
The EU-Turkey deal on migration, coupled with stricter border policies applied by Macedonia and the new NATO operation in the Aegean, “led to a noticeable reduction in the number of migrants arriving on the Greek islands in March,” Frontex said in a statement.
“Even though weather conditions continue to play a part in the number of arrivals on the islands in the Aegean, the recent downward trend has continued into April. There have been fewer than 100 arrivals per day on average in the first half of this month,” Frontex Executive Director Fabrice Leggeri said in the statement.