The European Union (EU) granted asylum to nearly 333,400 applicants in 2018, according to a latest estimate from Eurostat, published today.
This is a drop of almost 40 percent from 2017 when some 533,000 people were granted protection by Members States of the EU, reports the European Statistical Office.
EU Member States also welcomed more than 24,800 resettled refugees last year, according to the same source.
The largest cohort of successful asylum seekers in 2018, as in 2017, came from Syria (29 percent of the total) followed by Afghanistan (16 percent) and Iraq (7 percent). As in 2017, Germany was the main host country for these refugees, issuing 40 percent of the protection statutes (139,600), ahead of Italy (47,900) and France (41,000).
At first instance, 217,000 positive decisions were rendered and 116,000 on appeal. Out of a total of 582,000 decisions issued, the rate at which asylum was finally granted came to 57 percent at the European level.
In France, the three main countries of origin for beneficiaries of asylum are Afghanistan, Sudan and Syria. In Germany, Syrian, Afghan and Iraqi claimants make up the top three nationalities to receive asylum.
Eurostat data also show that Poland and Hungary, which have refused from the beginning to share the burden of taking in asylum seekers have granted only 435 and 365 protection status respectively, which is less than Malta (687), the smallest country in the European Union.
The success rate for applications varies considerably according to the nationalities of the asylum seekers, with citizens of countries recognised as ‘safe’ receiving far less protection that those who come from countries at war or where individual liberties are repressed. Accordingly, 88 percent of Syrians received protection and 83 percent of Eritreans as did 55 percent of Sudanese applicants. At the other end of the scale, only 8 percent of Albanian and 5 percent of Georgians were granted asylum seeker status in the EU in 2018.