Number of first-time asylum-seekers in Bulgaria drops in Q2 2016

Written by on September 22, 2016 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Number of first-time asylum-seekers in Bulgaria drops in Q2 2016
refugees Bulgaria photo DW M Ilcheva

The number of first-time asylum-seekers registered in Bulgaria in the second quarter of 2016 was 3505, a decrease of 13 per cent compared with the first quarter of the year, when the figure was 4050, according to EU statistics office Eurostat.

Of the 3505 first-time asylum-seekers in Bulgaria in the second quarter, 2080 (about 59 per cent) were from Afghanistan.

A total of 490 (about 14 per cent) were from Syria and 465 (about 13 per cent) from Iraq.

During the second quarter of 2016 (from April to June 2016), 305 700 first time asylum seekers applied for international protection in EU countries, up by six per cent compared with the first quarter of 2016, when 287 100 first time applicants were registered.

With nearly 90 500 first time applicants between April and June 2016, Syrians remained the main citizenship of people seeking international protection in the EU member states, ahead of Afghans (50 300 first time applicants) and Iraqis (34 300). They represent the three main citizenships of first time asylum applicants in the EU member states over the second quarter 2016, accounting for almost 60 per cent of all first time applicants.

During the second quarter 2016, the highest number of first time applicants was registered in Germany (with almost 187 000 first time applicants, or 61 per cent of total first time applicants in the EU Member States), followed by Italy (27 000, or 9 per cent), France (17 800, or 6 per cent), Hungary (14 900, or 5 per cent) and Greece (12 000, or 4 per cent).

Among EU countries with high numbers of asylum seekers, numbers of first time applicants in the second quarter 2016 more than doubled compared with the previous quarter in Greece (+132 per cent) as well as in Hungary (+118 per cent), and rose notably in Poland (+65 per cent) and Spain (+37 per cent).

In contrast, decreases were recorded in particular in the Nordic EU countries – Denmark (-59 per cent), Finland (-53 per cent) and Sweden (-42 per cent) – as well as in the Netherlands (-47 per cent), Belgium (-44 per cent) and Austria (-22 per cent).

Compared with the population of each EU country, the highest rate of registered first time applicants during the second quarter 2016 was recorded in Germany (2 273 first time applicants per million inhabitants), followed by Hungary (1 517), Austria (1 241) and Greece (1 113).

In contrast, the lowest rates were in Slovakia (two applicants per million inhabitants), Romania (11), Portugal (15), Lithuania (24), the Czech Republic and Estonia (both 26).

In the second quarter 2016, there were in total 599 first time asylum applicants per million inhabitants in the EU as a whole. In Bulgaria, the rate was 490 per million inhabitants.

Syria (30 per cent of the total number of first time applicants) remained during the second quarter of 2016 the main country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU member states.

Of the 90 500 Syrians who applied for the first time for asylum in the EU in the second quarter 2016, 80 per cent were registered in Germany (71 800).

Syrians represented the main citizenship of asylum seekers in eight EU member states. Afghanistan (16 per cent of the total number of first time applicants) was the second main country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU member states in the second quarter 2016.

Of the 50 300 Afghans seeking asylum protection for the first time in EU countries during the period April-June 2016, nearly two-thirds applied in Germany (32 600).

Afghans represented the main citizenship of asylum seekers in eight EU member states. With 34 300 first time applicants (or 11 per cent of the EU total) during the second quarter 2016, Iraq was the third country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU member states. More than 80 per cent were registered in Germany (27 800).

(Photo: DW/M Ilcheva)

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