More than 71 ,000 applications were lodged in EU+ countries in October, the highest number since the end of 2016, according to figures released by the European Asylum support office on Monday.
Approximately 587, 000 applications have been lodged in the EU+ since the beginning of 2019, up by 11 percent from the same period last year.
Afghanistan, Syria, Venezuela, Colombia and Pakistan were the top five countries of origin in October – each lodging record levels of applications, even compared to upward trends in the past few months.
Pakistanis lodged the most applications since the beginning of 2017, Afghans since late 2016, Venezuelans and Colombians since – at least – 2014, the EASO said. Record applications were also lodged by nationals of Turkey, Bangladesh, Algeria, Congo (DR) and Moldova, among others.
Some 52 725 decisions were issued at first instance, up by 13 percent from September, the highest number in the past year and a half, which might be as a result of an attempt to cope with the growing backlog. However, despite these efforts there were still many more applications than case closures at first instance.
At the end of September 2019, there were some 889 525 cases pending at all instances. Of these, EASO estimates that about 517 100 cases were pending at first instance, indicating that even though a considerable part of the open cases had been transferred from asylum authorities to judicial bodies, the pressure was still higher at the first-instance authorities.
In related news, The European Commission has announced financial support for Member States that collectively pledged more than 30,000 resettlement places for 2020 at the first Global Refugee Forum in Geneva.
Since 2015, more than 65,000 vulnerable refugees have found protection in Europe through the EU’s resettlement schemes. “The collective pledge from Member States for a further 30,000 resettlement places in 2020 confirms the EU’s role as a global leader on resettlement,” the European Commission said in a statement.