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EU Records Over Half a Million Asylum Requests in the First Half of 2023


European countries have registered a total of 519,000 asylum requests by the end of June this year, marking an increase of 28 per cent compared to the same period last year. If the trends continue, it is possible that the year-end report for 2023 could exceed one million.

The latest analysis of the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has revealed that in the first half of 2023, there was a continuous increase in asylum requests within the EU following a 53 per cent increase marked in 2022 compared to the previous year.

According to EUAA data, the number of pending cases has also increased by 34 per cent compared to last year. In addition, around four million Ukrainians who have fled the Russian occupation are currently receiving Temporary Protection within the EU.

“Together, these parallel trends pose significant challenges to EU+ asylum and reception systems authorities, so much so that by June 2023, the EUAA was offering operational assistance to 13 Member States,” the statement issued by EUAA reads.

The same source shows that Syrians have consistently been the leading group regarding asylum requests within the EU+ region. In the first half of this year, they submitted 67,000 asylum applications, marking a significant increase of 47 per cent compared to the same period in 2022.

As EUAA noted, this is the highest number recorded for this period since 2016. Germany remains the primary recipient of Syrian asylum applications, handling 62 per cent of all applications during the first half of 2023.

Further figures by EUAA reveal that of first-instance decisions in the EU+, about 41 per cent resulted in granting refugee status or subsidiary protection. In addition, Syrians continued to be granted international protection at a rate of over 95 per cent, while Afghans were given about 58 per cent protection.

Turkish applicants, which had seen a steady decline in defence grants over four years, now have a recognition rate of 28 per cent, up from 54 per cent in 2019. Meanwhile, Russians have a recognition rate of 35 per cent, from 20 per cent in 2021, and Iranians have a recognition rate of 47 per cent, up from 31 per cent in 2020.

Moreover, the first half of 2023 witnessed a growth in asylum requests from Ivorian nationals, reaching 9,300. Similarly, Guinean residents submitted 8,700 applications, showing a 60 per cent increase compared to 2022.

Together, applications from these two nationalities accounted for only 3.5 per cent of the total figure. While France has been the main destination for these applicants, a significant portion of the recent growth has occurred in Italy.

Based on this data, recognition rates for Ivorian and Guinean citizenship have been steadily upward since 2017, reaching 28 per cent for Ivorians and 32 per cent for Guineans in the first half of 2023.

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