During the second quarter of 2015 (from April to June 2015), 213 200 first time asylum seekers applied for protection in the European Union (EU), up by 15 per cent compared with the first quarter of 2015 and by 85 per cent compared with the second quarter of 2014, EU statistics office Eurostat said on September 18.
In particular, the number of Syrians and Afghans rose considerably to reach almost 44 000 and 27 000, respectively. They represent the two main citizenships of first time asylum applicants in the EU over the second quarter 2015, accounting for a third of all first time applicants.
Kosovars, who were the top citizenship of first time asylum applicants in the first three months of 2015, have seen their number drop from almost 50 000 during the first quarter 2015 to just more than 10 000 in the second quarter 2015.
More than one out of three applied for asylum in Germany During the second quarter 2015, the highest number of first time applicants was registered in Germany (80 900 first time applicants, or 38 per cent of total first time applicants in the EU), followed by Hungary (32 700, or 15 per cent), Austria (17 400, or eight per cent), Italy (14 900, or seven per cent), France (14 700, or seven per cent) and Sweden (14 300, or seven per cent).
Compared with the previous quarter, the number of first time asylum applicants in the second quarter 2015 notably jumped in the Netherlands (+159 per cent), Latvia (+123 per cent), Austria (+79 per cent), Finland (+67 per cent) and Denmark (+66 per cent).
The highest number of first time applicants relative to the population was in Hungary.
Compared with the population of each EU member state, the highest rates of registered first time applicants during the second quarter 2015 were recorded in Hungary (3317 first time applicants per million inhabitants), ahead of Austria (2026) Sweden (1467) and Germany (997).
In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Slovakia (five applicants per million inhabitants), Croatia (six), Romania (19), Slovenia (20), Lithuania (21), Portugal (24) and the Czech Republic (26). In the second quarter 2015, there were 420 first time asylum applicants per million inhabitants in the EU.
One out of five first time asylum seekers originates from Syria, Eurostat said.
Syria (44 000 first time asylum applicants, or 21 per cent of the total number of first time applicants in the EU) was during the second quarter of 2015 the main country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU.
Of the 44 000 Syrians who applied for the first time for asylum in the EU in the second quarter 2015, more than three quarters were registered in four EU countries: Germany (16 300), Hungary (8400), Austria (5300) and Sweden (3900).
In total, Syrians represented the main citizenship of asylum seekers in 10 EU countries. Afghanistan (27 000 first time asylum applicants, or 13 per cent of the total number of first time applicants in the EU) represented the second main country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU in the second quarter 2015.
Of the 27 000 Afghans seeking asylum protection for the first time in the EU during the period April-June 2015, more than half (13 600) applied in Hungary. With 17 700 first time applicants (or eight per cent of the EU total) during the second quarter 2015, Albania completed the top three citizenships of asylum seekers in the EU. Almost 90 per cent of them applied in Germany (15 400).
Almost 600 000 people were subject of pending asylum applications, Eurostat said.
Pending applications refer to all people who have made, at any time, an application for international protection which is still under consideration by the responsible national authority at the end of the reference period. It thus refers to the “stock” of applications for which decisions are still pending.
This indicator is meant to measure the workload of the national authorities.
At the end of June 2015, around 592 000 people were the subject of an application for asylum protection in the EU still under consideration by the responsible national authority.
Last year, at the end of June 2014, there were nearly 365 000. With 305 800 pending applications at the end of June 2015 (or 52 per cent of the EU total), Germany had by far the largest share in the EU, ahead of Sweden (56 000, or nine per cent), Italy (48 300, or eight per cent), France (36 100, or six per cent), the United Kingdom (29 400, or five per cent) and Greece (29 200, or five per cent), Eurostat said.