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February 23, 2023

Record Number of Asylum Applications in EU Since 2016 –

Nearly one million asylum applications (966,000) were filed to EU authorities in 2022, with the majority of those coming from Syrian, Afghan and Turk nationals, the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has revealed.

According to the annual report, the number of asylum applications rose by 50 per cent from 2021 and has become the highest number recorded since 2016, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.

Some of the push factors for these results include the relaxation of COVID-19 restrictions as well as the increasing food insecurity and conflicts in many regions.

Furthermore, the number of Syrian and Afghan asylum seekers was considerably highest among all applicants with 132,000 and 129,000, respectively, recording the highest number recorded since 2016.

In addition, the number of Turkish applicants doubled in 2022, making Turks the third largest group, followed by Venezuelans (51,000) and Colombians (43,000), with applications from these South American countries increasing by three times compared to 2021. The number of nationals from Bangladesh and Georgia followed as countries of origin for top applicants – 34,000 and 29,000 applications lodged, respectively.

The number of asylum applications was also high among nationals of India (26,000), Morocco (22,000), Tunisia (21,000), Egypt (15,000) and Moldova (8,300).

“In 2022, EU+ asylum authorities issued some 632,000 decisions at first instance, up by a fifth from 2021. However, applications increased by far more – in fact outnumbering them by about 333,000 – resulting in the largest gap since 2015. It largely translated into an increase in pending cases at first instance,” EUAA explains in a press release.

In addition, a total of 636,000 cases were waiting on a decision by the end of 2022 – 44 per cent more compared to 2021.

Moreover, the recognition rate among EU countries was 40 per cent in 2022, which is five percentage points up from the preceding year and the highest recorded in five years.

Around 147,000 applicants were granted refugee status while 106,000 received subsidiary protection, with the recognition rates being higher for nationals from Syria, Belarus, Ukraine, Eritrea, Yemen and Mali. On the other hand, recognition rates were lower – under four per cent for nationals from India, North Macedonia, Vietnam, Moldova, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Tunisia, Nepal and Serbia.

Furthermore, around four million people fleeing Ukraine have been registered for temporary protection and over four in five decisions filed by this category received a positive response.

The number of unaccompanied minors also increased significantly in 2022- reaching a total of 43,000. This is the highest number of unaccompanied minors recorded since 2015.