null EU granted protection to over 280 000 asylum applicants in 2020


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In 2020, the EU Member States granted protection status to 281 000 asylum seekers, down by 5% compared to 2019 (295 600).

This information comes from data on asylum applicants recently published by Eurostat.

Among the asylum seekers who were granted protection status in 2020 in the EU, 127 700 persons were granted refugee status (45% of all positive decisions), 80 700 were given humanitarian protection (29%) and 72 600 subsidiary protection (26%).

The highest number of persons who received protection status was registered in Germany (98 000 or 35% of the EU total), ahead of Spain (51 200 or 18%), Greece (35 800 or 13%), France (29 400 or 10%) and Italy (21 300 or 8%). These five Member States accounted together for over 80% of all protection grants issued in the EU in 2020.

Syrians, Venezuelans and Afghans – main beneficiaries of protection status

The largest group of beneficiaries of protection status in the EU in 2020 were Syrians (74 700 or 27% of the total number of persons granted protection status in the EU), continuing the trend observed since 2012. Among the Syrian citizens granted protection status in the EU, 60% received protection status in Germany.

Venezuelans (47 100 or 17% of the EU total) ranked second and notably 96% of Venezuelans were granted protection status in Spain.

Afghans (42 200 or 15%) were the third main citizenship granted protection status. 35% of Afghans who received protection status were recorded in Germany.

Asylum decisions in 2020

Source datasets: migr_asydcfsta (first instance decisions) and migr_asydcfina (final decisions)

41% of asylum decisions at the first instance made in the EU resulted in protection status

In 2020, 521 000 first instance decisions on asylum applications were made in the EU Member States and a further 232 800 final decisions following an appeal or review. Decisions made at the first instance resulted in 211 800 grants of protection status, while a further 69 200 persons received protection status resulting from appeal or review.

The recognition rate at the EU level, i.e. the share of all positive decisions among the total number of decisions, was 41% for first instance decisions. For final decisions in appeal or review, the recognition rate was 30%. These rates include both international (i.e. refugee status and subsidiary protection) and national protection status (humanitarian protection based on national legislation).

Among the top twenty citizenships that received first instance decisions in 2020, Venezuelans (95%), Syrians (85%) and Eritreans (81%) had the highest recognition rates, while Colombians (2%), Georgians (4%) and Albanians (5%) had the lowest.

Recognition rates first instance

Source dataset: migr_asydcfsta

Among the top twenty citizenships that received final instance decisions in appeal or review in 2020, Syrians (74%), Afghans (54%) and Malians (45%) had the highest recognition rates, while Georgians (3%), Albanians (5%) and Armenians (8%) had the lowest.

Recognition rates final

Source dataset: migr_asydcfina

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