Asylum quarterly report


Data extracted on 20 September 2017, except for data on first instance decisions which were extracted on 28 September 2017 (due to revised data from the United Kingdom). Most recent data: Further Eurostat information, Main tables and Database. Planned update of the article: December 2017.

First time asylum applicants and first instance decisions on asylum applications: second quarter 2017

This article describes recent developments in relation to numbers of asylum applicants and first instance decisions on asylum applications in the European Union (EU). Asylum is a form of international protection given by a state on its territory. It is granted to a person who is unable to seek protection in his/her country of citizenship and/or residence, in particular for fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion.

Figure 1: First time asylum applicants, EU-28, January 2016 – June 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm)
Figure 2: First time asylum applicants by citizenship, EU-28, absolute change between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm), see country codes
Figure 3: First time asylum applicants by citizenship, EU-28, relative change between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm), see country codes
Table 1: First time asylum applicants in the EU-28 by citizenship, Q2 2016 – Q2 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm)
Table 2: First time asylum applicants, Q2 2016 – Q2 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm)
Figure 4: First time asylum applicants, absolute change between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm), see country codes
Figure 5: First time asylum_applicants, relative change between Q2 2016 and Q2 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm), see country codes
Table 3: Asylum applicants (including first time asylum applicants), Q2 2016 – Q2 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm)
Table 4 : Five main citizenships of first time asylum applicants, 2nd quarter 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm)
Table 5 :Thirty main citizenships of first time asylum applicants by destination country in the EU 28, 2nd quarter 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asyappctzm)
Figure 6 : First instance decisions by outcome, selected Member States, 2nd quarter 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asydcfstq)
Figure 7 : First instance decisions in the EU-28 by outcome, selected citizenships, 2nd quarter 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asydcfstq)
Table 6 : First instance decisions by outcome and recognition rates, 2nd quarter 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asydcfstq)
Table 7 : First instance decisions by outcome and recognition rates, 30 main citizenships of asylum applicants granted decisions in the EU-28, 2nd quarter 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asydcfstq)
Table 8 : First instance decisions by citizenship and outcome, selected Member States, 2nd quarter 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asydcfstq)
Table 9 : First instance decisions by destination country and outcome in the EU-28, selected citizenships of asylum applicants, 2nd quarter 2017 - Source: Eurostat (migr_asydcfstq)

Main statistical findings

Main trends in the numbers of asylum applicants

The number of first time asylum applicants[1] in the EU-28 decreased by -54 % in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter of 2016 and by -11 % compared with the first quarter of 2017. Overall, the number of persons seeking asylum from non-EU countries in the EU-28 during the second quarter of 2017 reached 149 000. This was 175 000 less than in the same quarter of 2016 (Table 1,Table 2). Out of the 161 000 total asylum applicants (i.e. including repeat applicants), 149 000 (92 %) were first time applicants (Table 2, Table 3).


Where do they come from?

Citizens of 145 countries sought asylum for the first time in the EU in the second quarter of 2017. Syrians, Nigerians and Afghans were the top 3 citizenships of asylum seekers, lodging 21 100, 9 800 and 9 700 applications respectively (Table 1).

Syrians (76 000 less applicants compared with the second quarter of 2016) contributed most to the overall decrease in first time asylum applicants in absolute terms, followed by Afghans (46 200 less) and Iraqis (27 300 less). In contrast, the number of asylum applicants increased most in absolute terms for citizens of Bangladesh (2 600 more), Guinea (1 800 more) and Venezuela (1 700 more) (Figure 2, Table 1).

The most substantial relative decrease of asylum applicants in the EU in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter of 2016 recorded for Afghans and Syrians (each dropped by -80 %) and Iraqis (-75 % less). In contrast, Venezuela (nearly 2 times more) and Bangladesh (1 time more), followed by Guinea (nearly 1 time more) were the countries of citizenships which mostly increased in relative terms in the second quarter of 2017, compared with the same quarter of 2016 (Figure 3, Table 1).

Of the 21 000 Syrians who applied for the first time for asylum in the EU in the second quarter of 2017 nearly 50 % were registered in Germany (9 700) and about 10 % in Greece (2 300) and Austria (2 100). Similarly, 70 % of Nigerians (6 700) applied for asylum in Italy, while 36 % of Afghans (3 500) applied for asylum in Germany. Syrians were the main citizenship of asylum seekers in 15 EU Member States (Table 4, Table 5).


Main destination countries

The highest number of first time asylum applicants in the second quarter of 2017 was registered in Germany (with over 42 000 first time applicants, or 28 % of all applicants in the EU Member States), followed by Italy (34 200, or 23%), France (21 200, or 14%), Greece (10 600, or 7%) and the United Kingdom (7 700, or 5%). These 5 Member States together account for almost 80 % of all first time applicants in the EU-28 (Table 2).

Trends in number of asylum applicants vary from country to country in the second quarter of 2017. Germany (with -162 500 less applicants) was the country with the largest absolute decrease in the number of first time applicants, followed by Hungary (-14 200 less) and Austria (-5 300 less). In contrast, in Italy the number of asylum seekers has increased by 7 500 more, in France by 3 200 and in Spain by 3 000 more in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter of 2016 (Figures 4 and 5).

In relative terms, Hungary has recorded the largest relative decrease of first time asylum seekers (-95 % less), followed by Poland, Bulgaria and Germany (each with -80 % less) in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter of 2016. In contrast, Romania has recorded the largest relative increase of first time asylum seekers (6 times more) in the second quarter of 2017 compared with the same quarter of 2016.

Compared with the population of each Member State, the highest rate of registered first time applicants during the second quarter of 2017 was recorded in Greece (981 first time applicants per million inhabitants), followed by Malta (933), Luxembourg (887) and Cyprus (855). In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Slovakia (5 applicants per million inhabitants), Poland (19), Portugal (25) and the Czech Republic (26). In the second quarter 2017, there were in total 291 first time asylum applicants per million inhabitants in the EU as a whole. (Table 2).

Decisions on asylum applications

275 700 first instance decisions[2] were made by the national authorities of EU Member States during the second quarter of 2017. Among them, 46 % were positive (i.e. granting a type of protection status) (Table 6).

Germany issued by far the most total first instance decisions[3] during the second quarter of 2017 (165 300 decisions), followed by France (27 100), Italy (19 200), Austria (14 200), Sweden (13 400) and the United Kingdom (6 400) (Figure 6, Table 6).

Most first instance decisions in the EU-28 were issued to Afghans (52 100), followed by Syrians (39 300) and Iraqis (29 100) (Table 7).

Syrians received the highest number of decisions granting protection status in the EU Member States, including protection based on national legislations (37 500 positive first instance decisions, or 95% rate of recognition[4]), followed by Afghans (24 900, or 48 %) and Iraqis (16 000, or 55 %).

In contrast, of the 2 000 first instance decisions issued to citizens of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia only 35 were positive (or 2% rate of recognition), while of the 7 600 issued to Albanians only 335 were positive (or 4 %). Similarly, the rate of recognition was low for citizens of Serbia (5 %), Georgia (6 %), Algeria (9 %), Armenia and Kosovo (10 % each) (Figure 7, Table 7).


Data sources and availability

The data used for this publication are provided to Eurostat by the Ministries of Interior, Justice or immigration agencies of the Member States and EFTA countries. Data on asylum applications are collected monthly while data on first instance decisions are collected quarterly. Data are based entirely on relevant administrative sources.

Apart from statistics on first asylum applicants, these data are supplied in accordance with the provisions of Article 4 of the Regulation (EC) No 862/2007 of 11 July 2007 on Community statistics on migration and international protection. All data presented in this publication are rounded to the nearest 5, and are provisional (except as otherwise stated) and may be a subject to change.


Context

The Directorate-General Migration and Home Affairs (DG HOME) is responsible for developing EU policies on asylum.

The 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the status of refugees (as amended by the 1967 New York Protocol) has, for over 60 years, defined who is a refugee, and laid down a common approach towards refugees that has been one of the cornerstones for the development of a common asylum system within the EU.

Since 1999, the EU has worked towards creating a common European asylum regime in accordance with the Geneva Convention and other applicable international instruments. A number of directives in this area have been developed. The four main legal instruments on asylum — all recently recast — are:

  • the Qualification Directive 2011/95/EU on standards for the qualification of non-EU nationals and stateless persons as beneficiaries of international protection, for a uniform status for refugees or for persons eligible for subsidiary protection;
  • the Asylum Procedures Directive 2013/32/EU on common procedures for granting and withdrawing international protection;
  • the Reception Conditions Directive 2013/33/EU laying down standards for the reception of applicants for international protection;
  • the Dublin Regulation (EU) No 604/2013 establishing the criteria and mechanisms for determining the Member State responsible for examining an application for international protection lodged in one of the Member States by a third-country national or stateless person.

The Hague programme was adopted by heads of state and government on 5 November 2004. It puts forward the idea of a common European asylum system (CEAS), in particular, it raises the challenge to establish common procedures and uniform status for those granted asylum or subsidiary protection. The European Commission’s policy plan on asylum (COM(2008) 360 final) was presented in June 2008 which included three pillars to underpin the development of the CEAS:

  • bringing more harmonisation to standards of protection by further aligning the EU Member States’ asylum legislation;
  • effective and well-supported practical cooperation;
  • increased solidarity and sense of responsibility among EU Member States, and between the EU and non-member countries.

With this in mind, in 2009 the European Commission made a proposal to establish a European Asylum Support Office (EASO). The EASO supports EU Member States in their efforts to implement a more consistent and fair asylum policy. It also provides technical and operational support to EU Member States facing particular pressures (in other words, those EU Member States receiving large numbers of asylum applicants). The EASO became fully operational in June 2011 and has worked to increase its capacity, activity and influence, working with the European Commission and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

In May 2010, the European Commission presented an action plan for unaccompanied minors (COM(2010) 213 final), who are regarded as the most exposed and vulnerable victims of migration. This plan aims to set-up a coordinated approach and commits all EU Member States to grant high standards of reception, protection and integration for unaccompanied minors. As a complement to this action plan, the European Migration Network has produced a comprehensive EU study on reception policies, as well as return and integration arrangements for unaccompanied minors.

In December 2011, the European Commission adopted a Communication on ‘Enhanced intra-EU solidarity in the field of asylum’ (COM(2011) 835 final). This provided proposals to reinforce practical, technical and financial cooperation, moving towards a better allocation of responsibilities and improved governance of the asylum system in the EU, namely through:

  • introducing an evaluation and early warning mechanism to detect and address emerging problems;
  • making the supporting role of the EASO more effective;
  • increasing the amount of funds available and making these more flexible, taking into account significant fluctuations in the number of asylum seekers;
  • developing and encouraging the relocation of beneficiaries of international protection between different EU Member States.

See also

Further Eurostat information

Publications

News releases


Data in focus

Main tables

Asylum and new asylum applicants - monthly data
Persons subject of asylum applications pending at the end of the month - monthly data
Asylum and new asylum applicants - annual aggregated data
First instance decisions on applications by type of decision - annual aggregated data
Final decisions on applications - annual data
Asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors - annual data
Resettled persons - annual data

Database

Applications (migr_asyapp)
Asylum applicants by citizenship till 2007 Annual data (rounded) (migr_asyctz)
First time asylum applicants by citizenship till December 2007 Monthly data (rounded) (migr_asyctzm)
Asylum and first time asylum applicants by citizenship, age and sex Annual aggregated data (rounded) (migr_asyappctza)
Asylum and first time asylum applicants by citizenship, age and sex Monthly data (rounded) (migr_asyappctzm)
Persons subject of asylum applications pending at the end of the month by citizenship, age and sex - Monthly data (rounded) (migr_asypenctzm)
Asylum applications withdrawn by citizenship, age and sex Annual aggregated data (rounded) (migr_asywitha)
Asylum applications withdrawn by citizenship, age and sex - Monthly data (rounded) (migr_asywithm)
Asylum applicants considered to be unaccompanied minors by citizenship, age and sex Annual data (rounded) (migr_asyunaa)
Decisions on applications and resettlement (migr_asydec)
Decisions on asylum applications by citizenship till 2007 Annual data (rounded) (migr_asydctzy)
Decisions on asylum applications by citizenship till December 2007 Monthly data (rounded) (migr_asydctzm)
First instance decisions on applications by citizenship, age and sex Annual aggregated data (rounded) (migr_asydcfsta)
First instance decisions on applications by citizenship, age and sex Quarterly data (rounded) (migr_asydcftq)
Decisions withdrawing status granted at first instance decision by type of status withdrawn and by citizenship Annual aggregated data (rounded) (migr_asywitfsta)
Decisions withdrawing status granted at first instance decision by type of status withdrawn and by citizenship Quarterly data (rounded) (migr_asywitfstq)
Final decisions on applications by citizenship, age and sex Annual data (rounded) (migr_asydcfina)
Decisions withdrawing status granted as final decision by type of status withdrawn Annual data (rounded) (asywitfina)
Resettled persons by age, sex and citizenship Annual data (rounded) (migr_asyresa)

Dedicated section

Methodology / Metadata

External links

Notes

  1. First time applicant for international protection is a person who lodged an application for asylum for the first time in a given Member State. The indicator 'First time asylum applicants' excludes repeat applicants i.e. persons applying for asylum more than once in one country and therefore more accurately presents the number of persons applying for international protection in the EU Member States. The use of this indicator is possible as all Member States are able to provide it to Eurostat since 2014.
  2. Data on first instance decisions relate to decisions on applications granted to all asylum applicants i.e. First time asylum applicants and Repeat asylum applicants.
  3. Total decisions equal to positive decisions plus negative decisions.
  4. Rate of recognition is the share of (first instance) positive decisions in the total number of decisions at first instance. In this report, the exact number of decisions has been used instead of the presented rounded numbers. Rates of recognition for humanitarian status are not shown, but are part of the 'Total recognition rate'.