The FINANCIAL — During the first three months of 2015, 185 000 first time asylum seekers applied for protection in the European Union (EU), almost stable compared with the last quarter of 2014 but up by 86% compared with the first quarter of 2014. In particular, the number of Kosovars rose considerably to reach almost 50 000. They represent the main citizenship of first time asylum applicants in the EU over the first quarter 2015, ahead of Syrians and Afghans.
These data on asylum in the EU come from a report issued by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union on the occasion of the World Refugee Day on 20 June 2015.
More than half applied for asylum in Germany or Hungary
During the first quarter 2015, the highest numbers of first time applicants were registered in Germany (73 100 first time applicants, or 40% of total first time applicants in the EU) and Hungary (32 800, or 18%). They were followed at a distance by Italy (15 200, or 8%), France (14 800, or 8%), Sweden (11 400, or 6%), Austria (9 700, or 5%) and the United Kingdom (7 300 or 4%). These Member States show different recent trends: compared with the previous quarter, the number of first time asylum applicants in the first quarter 2015 jumped in Germany (+32%) and Hungary (+17%), while it fell significantly in Sweden (-41%) and Italy (-28%), and decreased more moderately in the United Kingdom (-10%), Austria (-8%) and France (-5%).
Compared with the population of each Member State, the highest rates of registered first time applicants during the first quarter 2015 were recorded in Hungary (3 322 first time applicants per million inhabitants), well ahead of Sweden (1 184), Austria (1 141) and Germany (905). In contrast, the lowest rates (below 50 first time applicants per million inhabitants) were observed in eleven Member States: Croatia, Slovakia, Lithuania, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Latvia, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Poland and Spain. In the first quarter 2015, there were 365 first time asylum applicants per million inhabitants in the EU.
One out of four first time asylum seekers originates from Kosovo
Kosovo3 (48 900 first time asylum applicants, or 26% of the total number of first time applicants in the EU) was during the first quarter of 2015 the main country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU. Of the 48 900 Kosovars3 who applied for the first time for asylum in the EU in the first quarter 2015, 90% were registered in two Member States: Hungary (22 800) and Germany (21 100). Kosovars3 represented also the main citizenship of asylum seekers in France and Luxembourg.
Syria (29 100 first time asylum applicants, or 16% of the total number of first time applicants in the EU) represented the second country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU in the first quarter 2015. Of the 29 100 Syrians seeking asylum protection for the first time in the EU during the first three months of 2015, almost half (13 800) applied in Germany. Syrians were the main citizenship of asylum seekers in eleven EU Member States.
With 12 900 first time applicants (or 7% of the EU total) during the first quarter 2015, Afghanistan completed the top 3 citizenships of asylum seekers in the EU. Two-thirds applied in Hungary (4 000), Germany (3 000) or Austria (1 600).
More than half a million persons subject of asylum applications pending
Pending applications8 refer to all persons who have made, at any time, an application for international protection which is still under consideration by the responsible national authority at the end of the reference period. It thus refers to the “stock” of applications for which decisions are still pending. This indicator is meant to measure the workload of the national authorities.
At the end of March 2015, around 530 000 persons were the subject of an application for asylum protection in the EU still under consideration by the responsible national authority. Last year, at the end of March 2014, they were nearly 350 000.
With 260 300 pending applications at the end of March 2015 (or 49% of the EU total), Germany had by far the largest share in the EU, ahead of Sweden (54 400, or 10%), Italy (47 500, or 9%), France (37 900, or 7%), Greece (30 100, or 6%) and the United Kingdom (29 800, or 6%)