Decline in number of people granted asylum in EU

The number of people granted asylum in EU countries fell by 40 percent in 2018, according to the latest report by Eurostat, the EU’s statistics agency.

According to the report, around 330,000 asylum requests were accepted by 28 EU countries in 2018, nearly half of the 533,000 recorded in 2017. Germany, Italy and France were the EU countries that recognised the most refugees.

The report also stated that the number of unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in the EU dropped by more than one third in 2018.

Syrians, Afghans and Iraqis were the largest group who secured international protection across the EU in 2018, accounting for more than 50 per cent of first time applicants. Only four percent of asylum seekers granted protection status in the same year were Eritreans.

Many EU countries have introduced tighter immigration policies in recent years. For example, Germany has introduced “anker migrant centres” to hold and process asylum seekers while the EU-Turkey deal allows migrants to be sent back to Greece. As a result there has been a significant drop in the number of asylum seekers who have been granted protection status. In 2018, more than 250,000 of the 580,000 asylum seekers who applied for international protection across the EU were rejected.

To manage the large number of pending asylum applications, Germany has shortened the asylum processing time from one year to six months and vowed to deport rejected asylum seekers within a shorter period of time. Over the last few years several EU countries, including Hungary, Austria, and Poland have also cut basic social provisions and other benefits for asylum seekers.

Many asylum seekers in EU countries are struggling to live in Europe due to tougher rules and regulations and in some cases, rising anti immigration sentiment. As a result, many asylum seekers see no other option but to return back home.

TMP – 29/04/2019

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Photo caption: The number of people granted asylum in the EU has significantly declined