Asylum application rates to European countries have increased by 16 per cent in March 2023, up from 74,310 recorded last year to a total of 85,975. Similarly, the number of subsequent asylum applications rose by four per cent this year, totalling 6,945.
According to the European Office for Statistics, Eurostat, Syrians and Afghans were the main applicants for asylum in 2023, with 9,660 and 9,155 first-time applicants recorded in March alone, SchengenVisaInfo.com reports.
Venezuelans (6,415), Colombians (5,980) and Turks (5,615) followed on the list, with these five nationalities filing over 42 per cent of all asylum applications in March 2023.
The number of Ukrainian first-time asylum applicants, which was rising exponentially – from 2,105 in February to 12,190 in March 2022, has been plummeting in March 2023, totalling 1,160, with the temporary protection directive being part of the reason.
Eurostat data previously reported that European countries had offered international protection to nearly four million people that fled Ukraine following the Russian invasion in 2022. Germany granted asylum to around 28 per cent of total applications, accounting for over one million beneficiaries.
Asylum applications filed by Russian citizens have also been on the rise, ranking among all citizenships in March 2023 with 2,480 applications.
The main recipients were Germany and Spain, with 25,170 and 15,570 of all applications being filed to these countries, followed by France and Italy, with 11,870 and 11,335, respectively, representing 74 per cent of all applications filed in the EU during March.
“Compared with the population of each EU country (on January 1, 2022), the highest rates of registered first-time applicants in March 2023 were recorded in Cyprus (1,859 applicants per million people) and Croatia (965). By contrast, the lowest rate was observed in Hungary (0),” Eurostat explains.
In total, there were 195 asylum applicants per one million people in the EU during this period.
The number of unaccompanied children has dropped by five per cent compared to the previous month, totalling 2,620. Afghanistan and Syria were again the main countries of origin for asylum applicants, with 860 and 565 recorded in March 2023, respectively, while Somalia, Eritrea and Egypt followed on the list.
The EU countries that received the most asylum applications from unaccompanied minors in March 2023 were Germany (990), the Netherlands (260) and Italy (230), also followed by Spain (225), Bulgaria (215), Austria (210) and Greece (200).