Europe

Frontex: 350,000 migrants arrived in EU this year so far

  • FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2015 file picture migrants, who were lost in an open sea, ask for help from members of the Frontex, European Border Protection Agency, from Portugal, as they try to approach in a dinghy the Greek island of Lesbos. The head of the European Union border control, agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, said Saturday Dec. 17, 2016 that about 350,000 migrants arrived in the EU this year so far.  (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)

    FILE - In this Dec. 8, 2015 file picture migrants, who were lost in an open sea, ask for help from members of the Frontex, European Border Protection Agency, from Portugal, as they try to approach in a dinghy the Greek island of Lesbos. The head of the European Union border control, agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, said Saturday Dec. 17, 2016 that about 350,000 migrants arrived in the EU this year so far. (AP Photo/Santi Palacios)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this March 22, 2016 file picture a child looks out of the window of a bus before she and other migrants and refugees are taken to Moria camp, after they were rescued by a Norwegian Frontex patrol vessel off the coast of the Greek island of Lesbos. The head of the European Union border control, agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, said Saturday Dec. 17, 2016 that about 350,000 migrants arrived in the EU this year so far. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

    FILE - In this March 22, 2016 file picture a child looks out of the window of a bus before she and other migrants and refugees are taken to Moria camp, after they were rescued by a Norwegian Frontex patrol vessel off the coast of the Greek island of Lesbos. The head of the European Union border control, agency Frontex, Fabrice Leggeri, said Saturday Dec. 17, 2016 that about 350,000 migrants arrived in the EU this year so far. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)  (The Associated Press)

The head of the European Union border control agency says that about 350,000 migrants have arrived in the EU so far this year.

Fabrice Leggeri, executive director of the Frontex border agency, was quoted Saturday by German daily Ruhr-Nachrichten as saying about 180,000 people arrived via Turkey and the eastern Mediterranean, while 170,000 reached the continent across the central Mediterranean route from Libya and Egypt. That's a sharp decline from 2015, when more than 1 million people arrived.

Leggeri said a deal between the EU and Turkey reduced the number of migrants coming from the East, but migration from northern Africa rose 30 percent.

The International Organization of Migration said last month that 4,636 people died on the Mediterranean this year, about 1,000 more than through this point last year.