Friday

23rd Feb 2018

Asylum requests plummet across Europe

  • Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans still make up the largest group of first time asylum applicants in the EU (Photo: UNICEF)

Some 287,000 people made their first application for asylum in the EU in the first quarter of this year, a fall of 33 percent from the last quarter of 2015, Eurostat figures show.

Syrians continue to be the most common nationality asking for protection, making up a third of all requests, the EU's statistical office said on Thursday (16 June).

Thank you for reading EUobserver!

Subscribe now for a 30 day free trial.

  1. €150 per year
  2. or €15 per month
  3. Cancel anytime

EUobserver is an independent, not-for-profit news organization that publishes daily news reports, analysis, and investigations from Brussels and the EU member states. We are an indispensable news source for anyone who wants to know what is going on in the EU.

We are mainly funded by advertising and subscription revenues. As advertising revenues are falling fast, we depend on subscription revenues to support our journalism.

For group, corporate or student subscriptions, please contact us. See also our full Terms of Use.

If you already have an account click here to login.

Iraqis and Afghans remained the second and third largest groups, with around 35,000 applications each. The three nationalities account for 60 percent of all first-time applicants.

The highest number of applications were still filed in Germany, which has taken in over a million migrants since last summer.

Almost 175,000 first-time applicants were registered there, 61 percent of all the first-time applicants in the EU.

Italy received 22,300 requests, followed by France with 18,000 claims.

Austria registered 13,900 applications and the UK received 10,100 claims.

The number of first-time applicants dropped sharply in the Nordic countries. Sweden, which introduced border checks with neighbouring Denmark, experienced a 91 percent drop.

Applications filed in Finland fell by 85 percent, in Denmark they were down by 74 percent.

In the Netherlands registered asylum requests dropped by 72 percent, while in Belgium they fell by 70 percent.

Austria, which also introduced increased border checks, received 55 percent fewer requests, according to Eurostat figures.

The lowest number of asylum applications was in Estonia, where just five Russians requested protection.

Austria curtails asylum rights

Austria approves a law that will allow it to reject many asylum seekers, including those from war-torn countries, in a move decried by rights groups.

EU plans tougher asylum rules

Asylum seekers' applications to be rejected if they move around within the EU, under new asylum rules proposed by the EU Commission.

Libya return demand triggers reintegration headaches

The UN migration agency (IOM) had planned to help return and reintegrate 5,000 people from Libya to their home countries, but ended up aiding 20,000 in 2017. The extra demand has piled on the pressure.

Frontex naval operation to look for 'foreign fighters'

The EU border and coast guard agency, or Frontex, has launched a new naval operation called Themis. The operation replaces its surveillance Triton mission but with a bigger emphasis on security and intelligence gathering.

News in Brief

  1. EU parliament president: 'The immigration problem is Africa'
  2. May to unveil EU departure strategy next week
  3. Pregnant workers may be dismissed, EU court rules
  4. Romanian minister demands anti-corruption prosecutor fired
  5. Luxembourg and Ireland pay highest minimum wages
  6. Freedom of expression under threat in Spain, warn MEPs
  7. Report: EU to increase sanctions on Myanmar
  8. Juncker 'worried' by Italian elections

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Aid & Trade LondonJoin Thousands of Stakeholders of the Global Aid Industry at Aid & Trade London
  2. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.European Free Alliance Joins MHRMI to End the Anti-Macedonian Name Negotiations
  3. Mission of China to the EUChina-EU Tourism Year to Promote Business and Mutual Ties
  4. European Jewish CongressAt “An End to Antisemitism!” Conference, Dr. Kantor Calls for Ambitious Solutions
  5. UNESDAA Year Ago UNESDA Members Pledged to Reduce Added Sugars in Soft Drinks by 10%
  6. International Partnership for Human RightsUzbekistan: Investigate Torture of Journalist
  7. CESICESI@Noon on ‘Digitalisation & Future of Work: Social Protection For All?’ - March 7
  8. UNICEFExecutive Director's Committment to Tackling Sexual Exploitation and Abuse of Children
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersState of the Nordic Region 2018: Facts, Figures and Rankings of the 74 Regions
  10. Mission of China to the EUDigital Economy Shaping China's Future, Over 30% of GDP
  11. Macedonian Human Rights Movement Int.Suing the Governments of Macedonia and Greece for Changing Macedonia's Name

Latest News

  1. EU-Morocco fishing deal casts doubt on EU future foreign policy
  2. EU leaders put 'Spitzenkandidat' on summit menu
  3. European far-right political party risks collapse
  4. The key budget issues on EU leaders' table
  5. EU leaders to kick off post-Brexit budget debate
  6. Greek government's steady steps to exit bailout programme
  7. Frontex: Europe's new law enforcement agency?
  8. Poland and Greece broke EU environment laws, rules court