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Asylum seekers in the EU: 100,000 applications in August alone

The European Union Asylum Agency (EUAA) has published an analysis showing that asylum claims rose to 100,000 in August 2023, an 18 per cent increase on the same month in 2022, SchengenVisaInfo reports.

According to SchengenVisaInfo.com, EU asylum authorities remain under pressure, thus recommending that countries take action to combat irregular migration. EUAA reports that Syrians and Afghans were the leading asylum seekers in August this year, with 18,000 and 11,000 asylum applications respectively. At the same time, the number of applications from Syrians increased by 53 per cent compared to the previous year, while the number of applications from Afghans remained roughly unchanged.

In 2023, Germany is still the main destination for migrants seeking asylum in the EU. In August this year, it received 30,000 applications, which is 30 per cent of the total. France is in second place with 13,000 applications, Spain is in third place with around 12,000 applications and Italy has received around 10,000 applications this year.

EUAA: With its small population size of under a million (905,000), Cyprus received just under 900 asylum applications in August 2023, or around one application per 1,000 inhabitants. 

In addition to asylum applications, 4.2 million people have benefited from temporary protection in EU countries since the start of the war in Ukraine. Half of those who received temporary protection were in Germany (1.1 million) and Poland (950,000). On the other hand, in the Czech Republic there are about 35 temporary protection beneficiaries per 1,000 inhabitants, in Estonia – 27, and in Lithuania – 26.

EUAA reports that the recognition rate of asylum applications in August 2023 was 44%, slightly higher than in July. At the end of August, more than 720,000 cases were awaiting a first-instance decision in EU countries. Generally, the nationalities with the highest number of cases awaiting a first-instance decision are those with the most applications. In the same month, Syrians (96,000) and Afghans (73,000) had the highest proportion of pending cases respectively.

EUAA data for May also showed that the number of asylum applications submitted to EU countries exceeded 87,000, marking a marked increase of 25 per cent compared to the same month in 2022. The increase in the number of asylum applications is due to an increase in the number of asylum seekers from different countries, mainly Syrians, Afghans and Turkish nationals seeking asylum in Germany and other specific EU countries.

Every year countries around the world receive refugee and asylum seekers. While most people have confused the two terms, the distinction is very clear in their definition according to the 1951 Refugee Convention.

A person who has applied for an asylum is referred to as an asylum seeker on the ground that he/she is at risk of being persecuted on the basis of religious differences, race, nationality, political opinion, and other forms of discriminatory practices. Social groups such as women facing violence or children facing neglect or mistreatment can also be asylum seekers. A refugee is a person fleeing civil war or natural disaster, but he/she may not be necessarily fearing persecution.

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