EU Accepts Half a Million Asylum Seekers in 2017, 60 Per Cent in Germany

A Libyan coast guardsman watches over during an operation to rescue illegal immigrants who attempted to reach Europe off the coastal town of Zawiyah, 45 kilometres west of the capital Tripoli, on June 27, 2017. More than 8,000 migrants have been rescued in waters off Libya during the past 48 …
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Around half a million migrants were granted asylum in the European Union (EU) last year, the bloc’s statistics office said Thursday, with Germany taking 60 per cent – more than all other member states combined.

According to Eurostat, 538,000 asylum seekers were granted protection in the EU last year, as well as the bloc accepting almost 24,000 resettled refugees.

The numbers are lower than in 2015 and 2016 – the height of the migrant crisis, when Germany suspended border rules – but still higher than 2014 and the eight years on record before then.

There were 175,800 Syrians, accounting for about a third of successful asylum cases in 2017. This represents a significant decreased since 2016 when they accounted for 57 per cent of all positive decisions.

Syrians were followed by Afghans and Iraqis – with 100,700 (19 per cent) and 64,300 (12 per cent) respectively.

On a per capita basis, Germany had the most successful asylum cases in 2017, taking in 325,400.

Germany was followed by France, accepting 40,600, then Italy, with 35,100, Austria with 34,000, and Sweden with 31,200.

Eastern nations – Slovakia, the Czech Republic, and Poland – had the fewest successful asylum cases in 2017 on a per capita basis.

Syrians and Eritreans were the groups most likely to get asylum in the EU in 2017, with more than nine in ten cases being approved, while migrants from Albania and Kosovo were the least likely.

There were 650,000 asylum applications registered in EU countries in 2017, almost half the number in 2016, according to Eurostat figures released in March.

Applications peaked in 2015 when nearly 1.26 million people sought asylum in the bloc and Germany saw over a million migrants enter the country after Chancellor Angela Merkel announced an open door policy.

Mrs. Merkel is currently pushing for a common asylum system across all EU member-states as the European Commission continues to try and resettle tens of thousands.

The Commission forced through the resettlement quota system in 2015, compelling nations such as Hungary and Poland to take migrants that were invited to Europe by Mrs. Merkel.

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