EU Anticipates Surpassing One Million Asylum Applications by Year's End
In the first half of this year, there was a 28% increase in asylum requests registered in European Union countries, Norway, and Switzerland compared to the same period last year, according to the EU Asylum Agency.
The primary applicants are Syrians, Afghans, Venezuelans, Turks, and Colombians, accounting for 44% of the total requests. Approximately 519,000 asylum applications were submitted across these 29 countries from January to the end of June.
Germany received the highest number of applications, representing 30% of the total, nearly double that of Spain (17%) and France (16%). The agency estimates that, based on current trends, the number of applications may surpass one million by the end of the year.
The demand in the first half of this year is the highest since the 2015-2016 period, when there was a significant influx of refugees into Europe, primarily due to the conflict in Syria. During that time, asylum requests reached 1.3 million in 2015 and 1.2 million in 2016. In 2022, there were 994,945 applications.
Syrians continue to submit the highest number of asylum applications in the EU+, a trend observed over several years. In the first half of 2023, they filed 67,000 applications, nearly double (a 47% increase) compared to the same period in 2022, marking the highest level for this time of year since 2016. Applications from the Ivory Coast (Côte d'Ivoire) more than doubled, and the number of applications from Guinea increased by 60%.
Germany continues to receive the highest number of Syrian applications, processing 62% of all applications in the first half of 2023.
Among first-instance decisions in the EU+, approximately 41% grant either refugee status or additional protection. Recognition rates for many nationalities have remained consistent with past trends, such as Syrians receiving international protection at a rate of approximately 95% and Afghans at around 58%.
The agency notes that this increase has put significant pressure on many European countries in processing applications, with the number of pending cases rising by 34% compared to 2022. Approximately 41% of first-instance applications received a positive response.