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EASO: 37,800 People Applied for International Protection in EU Countries in May

A total of 37,800 people sought international protection in EU countries in May 2021, according to the latest report by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).

The agency revealed that the main exporting countries in May 2021 were Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, confirming that Afghans registered more orders for the third month in a row, reports.

According to the report, citizens of West African countries accounted for a large number of applications for international protection in EU countries in May 2021.

The agency revealed that Moroccans, Tunisians and Algerians have applied “surprisingly few” during the past 12 months, although many citizens of these countries tried to reach European countries illegally.

The nationals of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria have been the most prominent after the Syrians in terms of illegal border crossings discovered at the external borders of the European Union over the past 12 months. In any case, they submitted fewer asylum applications during the same period than the number of illegal border crossings that were detected.”

On the other hand, asylum applications were higher than the illegal border crossings of all other major countries of origin, indicating that many nationals of Morocco, Tunisia and Algeria who entered illegally into EU countries did not apply for international protection possibly due to lower recognition rates for these nationalities.

The report reveals that West African citizens accounted for a large number of applications for international protection in EU countries (5,500 applications) in May. Nigerians submitted a total of 1,300 applications in May, remaining the most important group among West African citizens.

“The relatively high number of asylum applications from West Africa partly reflects the increase in irregular migration on the West African route to the Canary Islands,” the report said.

In May, unaccompanied minors claiming themselves submitted 1,500 applications for international protection in EU countries, which is 4 percent of applications filed in May. More than two-fifths of the requests were from Afghans, followed by Syrians and Bangladeshis.

In May, the asylum authorities of the European Union issued 41,500 preliminary decisions.

“This was lower than in April (-17 per cent) as much fewer decisions were made on repeat requests, which have been numerous in recent months,” the statement read.

However, despite this decrease, the number of first-degree decisions issued exceeded the number of applications.

The recognition rate in the EU countries in May 2021 was 32 percent. Recognition rates were particularly high for Eritreans (80 percent), Syrians (75 percent), and Somalis (59 percent).

Previously, an EASO report revealed that in 2020, a total of 48,578 Afghans applied for asylum in EU countries, remaining the second largest group of applicants in the EU.

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