Bulgaria granted protection to 195 asylum seekers in 2012

Bulgarian granted refugee or subsidiary protection status to 195 asylum seekers in 2012, according to numbers published by European Union’s statistics bureau Eurostat.

Bulgarian authorities issued 660 decisions on asylum claims, including 640 first-instance decisions. Among those granted asylum, only 20 people received refugee status, the rest receiving subsidiary protection.

Under EU law, these are people who do not qualify as refugee, but “in respect of whom substantial grounds have been shown for believing that the person concerned, if returned to his or her country of citizenship, or in the case of a stateless person, to his or her country of former habitual residence, would face a real risk of suffering serious harm.”

At first instance, about 26 per cent of asylum applications in Bulgaria received a positive decision, compared to 28 per cent at EU level. The rate of final positive decisions upon appeal was nearly 96 per cent, but there were only 25 such cases in 2012.

In terms of nationality of asylum seekers, the biggest groups to receive positive decisions in Bulgaria were Iraqis (70 people), Syrians (60 people) and stateless people (25).

At EU level, a total of 407 300 decisions on asylum applications were made in 2012, including 274 500 first instance decisions and 132 800 final decisions on appeal.

EU member states granted protection to 102 700 asylum seekers in 2012, compared with 84 300 in 2011. Decisions made at the first instance resulted in 77 300 persons being granted protection status, while a further 25 400 received protection status on appeal.

Syrians became in 2012 the single largest group of persons granted protection status in the EU. Of the 18 725 Syrians granted protection status in the bloc, more than 70 per cent were recorded in two Member States: Germany (8400) and Sweden (5000).

The next most numerous groups were Afghans (13 485 people) and Somalis (8105 people).

(Photo: John Jackson/sxc.hu)



The Sofia Globe staff

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