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Asylum applications fall by 37% for the 9-month period, but increase in France in September
Written by SOT.COM.AL 21 Nëntor 2023
Asylum applications of Albanian citizens to EU countries have continued to be low even in September, according to the latest Eurostat data, slowing down significantly compared to the previous two years. According to Eurostat, for the 9-month period there were a total of almost 5 thousand applications for asylum in one of the EU countries, with a decrease of 37% compared to the same period a year ago.
This trend is different from 2022 and the second half of 2021, when after the "break" in the pandemic, a significant increase in the tendency of Albanian citizens to leave the country was observed. For the 9th month of 2022, asylum applications, for example, increased by 25% compared to the same period in 2021.
But, despite the slowdown, September marked an increase in requests for asylum towards France, which is also the main destination of asylum seekers due to the more social policies that this country follows. In September, there were 230 requests for asylum from Albanian citizens in France, from 150 the previous month. This is the highest level of asylum requests in this country since February (245).
In contrast, towards Germany the trend was downward. In September, there were only 100 asylum requests, down from 130 the previous month. For Italy, the third largest receiving destination for asylum seekers, data is not yet available for September, but in previous months it fluctuated between 90 and 160 per month.
Switzerland is becoming another country where demands are increasing, albeit at low levels. In September, the highest level of applications was recorded with 15 such applications, while for several consecutive months the number was zero.
Total request for asylum in Europe
According to Eurostat, in August this year 91,735 non-EU citizens applied for international protection in EU countries for the first time, an increase of 19% compared to August 2022 (77,145). There were also 5 660 repeat applications, a decrease of 8% compared to August 2022 (6 165).
Syrian nationals remain the largest group of asylum seekers
As in previous months, in August 2023, Syrians continued to be the largest group of people seeking asylum (18,170 first-time applicants). They were followed by Afghans (9,785), Turks (7,970), Venezuelans (4,805) and Colombians (4,665).
Germany, Spain, France and Italy received 68% of all first-time asylum applications
Similar to previous months, in August 2023, Germany (29,110), Spain (12,075), France (11,495) and Italy (10,005) continued to receive the highest number of first-time asylum applications, accounted for 68% of all first-time applications in the EU. In August 2023, across the EU the total number of first-time asylum applications was 20.5 per 100,000 people.
Compared to the population of each EU country (on January 1, 2023), the highest rate of applicants registered for the first time in August 2023 was recorded in Cyprus (97.0 applicants per 100 thousand people), followed by Austria ( 72.4). The lowest rate was recorded in Hungary (0.0).
4,465 unaccompanied minors apply for asylum in EU countries
4,465 unaccompanied minors applied for asylum for the first time in the EU in August, mainly from Syria (1,540) and Afghanistan (1,420). Three countries had the highest number of asylum requests from unaccompanied minors in August, with Germany at the top (1,250), followed by Austria (795) and Bulgaria (735)./ Monitor