26 June 2015
In the first quarter of 2015, Eurostat reported that 185,000 people applied for asylum for the first time in the EU-28 states. This figure shows an increase of 86% in the number of asylum applications submitted in EU countries compared to the same period in 2014. This number, however, is relatively stable if compared to the last quarter of 2014. The main nationalities of asylum seekers who sought protection in the EU-28, in the first three months of 2015, are: Kosovars (26% of total number), Syrians (16%) and Afghani (7%).
The vast majority of Kosovars (90%) applied for asylum in Hungary and Germany. They also accounted for the biggest national group of asylum seekers in France and Luxemburg. With respect to Syrian nationals, being the main citizenship of asylum seekers in 11 member states, half of them (13,800) applied for asylum in Germany. The number of Ukrainian asylum seekers saw a five-fold increase in the first quarter of 2015 compared to the same period of last year. In addition, a three-fold increase was registered of Iraqi asylum seekers, and a two-fold increase of Libyans and Albanians.
The highest number of asylum applications was registered in Germany and Hungary, where respectively 73,100 and 32,800 first asylum applications were lodged, accounting for 40% and 18% of the total applications submitted in the EU in the first three months of the current year. Compared with the previous quarter, Sweden and Italy saw a significant reduction in the number of asylum applications, while a moderate reduction occurred in the United Kingdom, Austria and France.