The number of illegal migrants in the EU in 2017 has decreased, though more non-EU citizens have been ordered to leave the bloc, according to latest figures.
The most recent statistics from Eurostat, the European statistics agency, show that last year there was a 37% decrease compared to 2016 in the number of non-EU citizens illegally present in the EU.
The latest statistics come as debate surrounding migration has been reignited all over Europe, with EU leaders holding a high-stakes summit on the issue.
Last year, 618,780 non-EU citizens were illegally present in the EU. This figure is dropped 71% compared with the peak of 2015.
The member state with most non-EU citizens illegally present on its territory last year was Germany (156,710), followed by France (115,085), Greece (68,110), the United Kingdom (54,910) and Spain (44,625).
More non-EU citizens have also been ordered to leave EU countries in last year than in 2016.
The number rose by 4.5% to 516,115 last year compared with 493,785 in 2016. Germany ordered the most people to leave the bloc (97,165), followed by France (84,675) and the United Kingdom (54,910).
More people declined entry to the EU
In 2017, the number of non-EU citizens who were refused entry to the EU rose by 13% compared to the previous year.
Over 439,000 non-EU citizens were refused entry into the EU at one of its external borders.
Spain refused almost half of all non-EU citizens who were refused entry into the EU last year (203,025 out of 439,505), followed by France (86,320) and Poland (38.660).
The migrant crisis has led to a widening political divide in Europe, especially between Italy, where most migrants first enter the EU, and Germany, the places where most migrants attempt to travel due to the passport-free Schengen area.