22 May 2015

In 2014, 185,000 asylum seekers received international protection in the EU, according to the latest Eurostat report. Syrians were the largest group, with 68,400 people granted protection status (37% of the total number registered in 2014). Most of them were recognised in Germany and Sweden (together registering up to 60% of Syrian refugees in the EU).

In addition, through resettlement programmes, in 2014 almost 6,500 refugees came safely into Europe from non-EU countries and received a durable residence permit. Most of them were welcomed by Sweden (2,045 refugees), Finland (1,090) and the Netherlands (790); however, almost half of Member States does not offer any place for resettled refugees.

By the end of May, the European Commission will propose an ‘EU-wide resettlement scheme’ to offer protection to 20,000 refugees on a voluntary basis, especially from North Africa, the Middle East, and the Horn of Africa. However, up to May 2015, the Syrian neighbouring region alone, registered 3,977,211 Syrian refugees.

François Crépeau, the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, highlights that this proposal is “woefully inadequate in its scale” and “utterly insufficient”, given that more than 200,000 asylum seekers arrived in Europe by boat in 2014. He also stressed that “20,000 persons represent 0.004% of its population”.

According to Eurostat, after Syrian nationals, people recognised in need for international protection in 2014, came from Eritrea (14,600) and Afghanistan (14,100). Most refugees were granted protection status in Germany (47,600 people) and Sweden (33,000); followed by France and Italy, which recognised 20,600 refugees each.


This article originally appeared in the ECRE Weekly Bulletin of 22 May 2015. You can subscribe to the Weekly Bulletin here.