EU+ countries witness highest number of asylum applications in seven years, led by Syrians and Afghans

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28th February 2024 – (Hong Kong) In a recent report released by the EU Agency for Asylum based in Malta, it was revealed that EU+ countries, comprising the 27 EU member states along with Norway and Switzerland, received a staggering 1.14 million applications for international protection in the past year. This represents a significant increase of 18 per cent compared to the previous year, reaching a level that harkens back to the refugee crisis of 2015-16.

The report highlighted that Syrians continued to top the list of applicants, submitting the highest number of asylum applications. Meanwhile, Afghans held the second position, although their applications saw a decline of 11 per cent from the previous year. The number of applications from Syrians, on the other hand, surged by 38 per cent compared to 2022.

Another significant trend identified in the report is the increasing number of Palestinians seeking asylum in EU+ countries. In 2023, the number of Palestinian asylum applications reached nearly 11,600, marking a two-thirds increase from the previous year.

When analyzing the pressure faced by individual countries relative to their population size, Cyprus emerged as the most burdened, with approximately 12,000 applications received. This translates to one application for every 78 inhabitants of the country.

Germany, once again, solidified its position as the primary destination for asylum seekers among EU+ countries. The nation received a staggering 334,000 applications, accounting for nearly one-third of all applications lodged across the region.

The significant rise in asylum applications reflects the ongoing challenges faced by EU+ countries in managing migration and providing protection to those in need. It underscores the ongoing importance of addressing the root causes of displacement and finding sustainable solutions to support refugees and asylum seekers.