Monday

9th Dec 2019

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).

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 30-day free trial.

... or join as a group

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.

Migrants paying to get detained in Libyan centres

A trend has emerged over the past few months where desperate people are paying to get locked up in Libyan detention centres to escape the conflict and with the hope they stand a better chance of getting resettled to Europe.

News in Brief

  1. EU agrees future human rights sanctions
  2. Greens demand Zahradil conflict of interest probe
  3. EU commission to 'correct mistake' on enlargement
  4. Luxembourg pushes EU to recognise Palestine
  5. Minister: 'All Brussels kids should be trilingual at 18'
  6. Macron pushes pension reform despite protests
  7. Marin becomes Finland's youngest prime minister
  8. Greece denies access to fair asylum process, report says

Interview

EU Africa envoy: Europe needs to look beyond migration

Europe's obsession with migration from Africa means it risks losing out the continent's potential when it comes to trade, says the EU's ambassador to the African Union, Ranier Sabatucci. "Africa is a growing continent, it is the future," he says.

Feature

Malmo, a segregated city - separating fact from fiction

Despite the neighbourhood's beautiful name, the reputation of Rosengård (Rose Garden) does not so much evoke images of roses as headlines of crime and social challenges. This area of Malmö has been struggling with its notorious, mythical, image for years.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of Ministers40 years of experience have proven its point: Sustainable financing actually works
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic and Baltic ministers paving the way for 5G in the region
  3. Nordic Council of MinistersEarmarked paternity leave – an effective way to change norms
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Climate Action Weeks in December
  5. UNESDAUNESDA welcomes Nicholas Hodac as new Director General
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersBrussels welcomes Nordic culture

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us