11 December 2015

During the third quarter of 2015 (July through September), 413,800 people applied for protection in the EU for the first time, an increase of 150% from the same quarter of 2014. The number almost doubled compared with the second quarter of this year, Eurostat announced this week.

Citizens of 149 countries sought asylum for the first time in the EU in the third quarter of 2015. Syrians, Afghanis and Iraqis were the top three citizenships of asylum seekers, lodging around 138,000, 56,700 and 44,400 applications respectively. 98,000 more Syrians applied for asylum compared to the third quarter of 2014.

Main destination countries remain Germany and Hungary, both with slightly over 108,000 applicants, followed by Sweden (42,500), Italy (28,400) and Austria (27,600). These five Member States together account for more than 75% of all first time applicants in the EU-28. Hungary saw its number of asylum seekers jumping notably by 13 times compared to the same quarter of 2014.

EU Member States made 135,200 first instance decisions during this period. Among them, almost half resulted in protection status. Syrians have received by far the highest number of protection statuses in the EU, including protection based on national legislations (32,400 positive first instance decisions, or 98% rate of recognition), followed by Eritreans (5,900, or 87%), Iraqis (5,100, or 88%) and Afghanis (2,700, or 70%).

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This article appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 11 December 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.