11% fewer people applied for asylum in EU countries last year compared to 2017. In total, nearly 581,000 first-time applicants for protection in the EU in 2018 were requested.
“The number is slightly less than half the number of asylum applications during the peak year of 2015, and is on a par with the asylum figures before
the refugee crisis” said Eurostat.
Both the migration and the number of asylum seekers to the EU shot up in 2015/2016, when the war in Syria deteriorated and several other countries in the Middle East were also hit by new chaos.
Most of the asylum seekers to the EU still come from the same countries in the Middle East. Syrians were the largest group, with 80,900 asylum seekers, followed by Afghans (41,000), and Iraqis (39,600). Altogether, people from these countries accounted for 30% of the total in 2018.
The number of unsolicited applications is considerably higher than the number of first-time applicants. In total, 878,600 were still expected to respond by the end of 2018, down from 927,000 the year before.
Most requested protection in Germany, which received 28% of the asylum applications to the EU in 2018. Behind were France (19%), followed by Greece (11%).
© NTB Scanpix / #Norway Today