Asylum applications in EU+ increase, pushed up by Venezuelans, Turks and Colombians

So far in 2019, applications for asylum in the EU+ are 15 per cent higher than last year, especially for Turkish and Venezuelan nationals, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) said on June 11.

In April 2019, more than 54 500 applications for international protection were lodged in the EU+,

The EU+ is composed of the 28 EU countries plus Norway and Switzerland.

The April total was a slightly lower monthly total than in the previous month, but remained at a higher level than in April 2018.

Since the end of 2017, the monthly number of applications has been fluctuating between about 50 000 and 60 000, with no exception in April 2019.

One in four applications was lodged by nationals of the three main countries of origin: Syria, Afghanistan and Venezuela.

All these citizenships however lodged fewer applications than in March. Also for the other citizenships in the top 10, applications decreased (for Iraqi, Colombians, Nigerians, Georgians, Iranians and Pakistani).

There was one exception: Turkish applicants, the seventh main citizenship of origin in April, increased by 26  per cent, but remained in line with the first months of the year.

Turks, together with applicants from several Latin-American countries, were much more numerous than a year ago.

Notably, applications by both Turks and Venezuelans increased by more than 50 per cent, whereas applicants from Colombians almost tripled compared to April 2018.

Also the number of first-instance decisions issued in April decreased. It returned to some 44 000 decisions, similar to the first two months of 2019, and the lowest total since July 2018. While most citizenships were issued fewer decisions, there were notable exceptions for Venezuelans (+ 55 per cent), Malians (+ 19  per cent) and Albanians (+eight per cent).

At the end of April, close to 434 000 cases were awaiting a decision in first-instance. While this stock decreased for many citizenships, the opposite was true for Latin-American nationals. The stock of pending cases increased vastly for applicants from Colombia (by about 930 applications), Venezuela (by some 830), El Salvador and Honduras (each by about 220 cases), EASO said.



The Sofia Globe staff

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