On Wednesday, the Polish Border Guard reported a concerning surge in the number of migrants attempting to reach Germany via Poland using the Balkan route. In a single day, more than 100 migrants were detained as they crossed the Polish-Slovak border, marking a record for such attempts in recent times.
Anna Michalska, a spokesperson for the Polish Border Guard, expressed her concerns about the escalating situation. “Just in one day, we detained over 100 foreigners who crossed the Polish-Slovak border,” Michalska revealed in a statement to the Polish Press Agency (PAP) on Thursday. “These individuals are part of a growing trend attempting to enter Germany through Poland via the Balkan countries.”
The migrants, largely originating from Syria, were apprehended by officers from two Border Guard units as they attempted to make their way towards the German border. Four couriers were also apprehended during the operation.
This alarming increase in migration attempts is not an isolated event but rather part of a growing trend. Data from the Border Guard reveals that this year alone, over 600 people have been detained at Poland’s borders with Slovakia and the Czech Republic. This marks a significant increase compared to the 122 detentions recorded during the same period last year.
In addition to the rise in attempts via the Polish-Slovak border, Michalska highlighted the escalating situation at the Polish-German border. In 2023, over a thousand foreigners attempting illegal entry into Germany have been detained so far, a figure that is approximately 200 more than the total for the entire previous year.
Another concerning development is the noticeable increase in foreigners travelling to the German border from Belarus through Lithuania, often passing through Latvia first. This year, border officers detained 380 foreigners at the Lithuanian border, further highlighting the complexity of the situation and the need for coordinated efforts across multiple borders.
The reasons driving this surge in migration attempts are multifaceted, including political instability, economic challenges, and the ongoing refugee crisis in various parts of the world. The Balkan route through Poland offers migrants a potentially shorter and less perilous path to Western Europe.