Europe migrant crisis: Where are asylum seekers coming from and where are they going?

Kosovars, Syrians, Afghans made up half of 185,000 asylum seekers in first quarter of 2015

 

There was an 86 per cent increase in the amount of people claiming asylum in Europe between the first quarters of 2014 and 2015.

In the first quarter of 2015, 185,000 people sought asylum in the EU, according to data released by the EU’s statistics office.

Kosovars, Syrians and Afghans made up half of the asylum seekers, as people fled unrest and conflict around the world.

The number of asylum seekers in the first quarter of 2015 was stable on the quarter before, but it was up 86 per cent on the same period of 2014.

According to the Eurostat figures in the first quarter of this year, the countries receiving the most asylum applicants were Germany at 73,120 applicants, or 32 per cent of total applicants in the EU; Hungary at 32,810 (18 per cent); Italy at 15,245 (8 per cent); France at 14,770 (8 per cent); and Sweden at 11,415 (6 per cent). These five member States together account for 80 per cent of all applicants across the EU.

Ireland received 0.3 per cent share of the EU’s asylum applicants in 2015, with 625 applications. This was a 37 per cent increase on the same period in 2014.

In the first quarter, 42 per cent of Ireland’s applications were from Pakistan. This was followed by 7 per cent from Nigeria (45 applications) and 6 per cent from Albania (45).

Despite being the destination of many vessels in the Mediterranean migrant crisis, Greece saw relatively few asylum applications, despite being the destination of many vessels in the Mediterranean migrant crisis.

One out of four asylum seekers came from Kosovo – 48,900 – a dramatic increase from 2,470 in the same period the year before. Of the Kosovars who applied , 90 per cent were registered in two EU states: Hungary ( 22,800) and Germany (21,100).

Kosovo asylum seekers are often treated as economic migrants fleeing poverty, rather than as genuine refugees. Hungary has announced a plan to construct a four metre-high fence along its 175km border with Serbia.

There are currently more than half a million pending applications for asylum in Europe, up 150,000 on the end of 2014. Germany is processing the most applications, with 49 per cent of the European total.

Sweden is dealing with the next largest amount, with 10 per cent of the EU’s total, followed by Italy, France, Greece and the UK.

Figures released for 2014 showed approval rates for applications vary significantly across nations.

The EU’s average approval rate for asylum applications was 45 per cent in 2014. Ireland approved approved 38 per cent of its applications. Bulgaria approved the highest percentage of applications at 94 per cent, with Sweden approving 77 per cent. Hungary approved just 9 per cent.

Germany, where the largest number of asylum seekers continue to apply, approved 42 per cent of its applications.

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