Number of first time asylum seekers slightly up to almost 306 000 in the second quarter of 2016

Number of first time asylum seekers slightly up to almost 306 000 in the second quarter of 2016

Number of first time asylum seekers slightly up to almost 306 000 in the second quarter of 2016

The FINANCIAL -- During the second quarter of 2016 (from April to June 2016), 305 700 first time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the European Union (EU), up by 6% compared with the first quarter of 2016 (when 287 100 first time applicants were registered).

With nearly 90 500 first time applicants between April and June 2016, Syrians remained the main citizenship of people seeking international protection in the EU Member States, ahead of Afghans (50 300 first time applicants) and Iraqis (34 300). They represent the three main citizenships of first time asylum applicants in the EU Member States over the second quarter 2016, accounting for almost 60% of all first time applicants.

Six in ten applied for asylum in Germany

During the second quarter 2016, the highest number of first time applicants was registered in Germany (with almost 187 000 first time applicants, or 61% of total first time applicants in the EU Member States), followed by Italy (27 000, or 9%), France (17 800, or 6%), Hungary (14 900, or 5%) and Greece (12 000, or 4%). Among those Member States with high numbers of asylum seekers, numbers of first time applicants in the second quarter 2016 more than doubled compared with the previous quarter in Greece (+132%) as well as in Hungary (+118%), and rose notably in Poland (+65%) and Spain (+37%). In contrast, decreases were recorded in particular in the Nordic Member States – Denmark (-59%), Finland (-53%) and Sweden (-42%) – as well as in the Netherlands (-47%), Belgium (-44%) and Austria (-22%).

Highest number of first time applicants relative to the population in Germany, Hungary, Austria and Greece

Compared with the population of each Member State, the highest rate of registered first time applicants during the second quarter 2016 was recorded in Germany (2 273 first time applicants per million inhabitants), followed by Hungary (1 517), Austria (1 241) and Greece (1 113). In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Slovakia (2 applicants per million inhabitants), Romania (11), Portugal (15), Lithuania (24), the Czech Republic and Estonia (both 26). In the second quarter 2016, there were in total 599 first time asylum applicants per million inhabitants in the EU as a whole.

Almost a third of first time asylum seekers continued to originate from Syria

Syria (30% of the total number of first time applicants) remained during the second quarter of 2016 the main country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU Member States. Of the 90 500 Syrians who applied for the first time for asylum in the EU in the second quarter 2016, 80% were registered in Germany (71 800). Syrians represented the main citizenship of asylum seekers in eight EU Member States.

Afghanistan (16% of the total number of first time applicants) was the second main country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU Member States in the second quarter 2016. Of the 50 300 Afghans seeking asylum protection for the first time in the EU Member States during the period April-June 2016, nearly two-thirds applied in Germany (32 600). Afghans represented the main citizenship of asylum seekers in eight EU Member States.

With 34 300 first time applicants (or 11% of the EU total) during the second quarter 2016, Iraq was the third country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU Member States. More than 80% were registered in Germany (27 800).

Over a million asylum applications pending

Pending applications for international protection are those that have been made, at any time and are still under consideration by the responsible national authority at the end of the reference period. In other words, they refer to the “stock” of applications for which decisions are still pending. This statistic is meant to measure the workload of the national authorities.

At the end of June 2016, almost 1.1 million applications for asylum protection in the EU Member States were under consideration by the responsible national authority. A year earlier, at the end of June 2015, there were around 633 000. With 571 500 pending applications at the end of June 2016 (or 52% of the EU total), Germany had by far the largest share in the EU, ahead of Sweden (130 900, or 12%), Austria (83 200, or 8%), Italy (70 700, or 6%) and France (43 000, or 4%).