Brussels: The number of Syrian asylum seekers in the EU has more than tripled in just one year, the fastest growth rate for any group, according to the European Asylum Support Office’s annual report. They numbered 24,110 in 2012 compared to 7,885 the year before. Overall the number of refugees increased by 11% in 2012, with the largest group coming from Afghanistan. The report will be presented to the civil liberties committee on 5 September. Follow the discussion live on our website.
The annual report provides an overview of the asylum situation in the EU in 2012 and analyses how member states dealth with asylum requests and sets out the increase and decrease in the number of applications compared to the year before. In addition it focuses on the increasing asylum flows from Afghanistan and Syria. The report was released on 8 July and will be presented to the civil liberties committee on 5 September by Dr Robert K. Visser, the executive director of the European Asylum Support Office.
The number of asylum seekers in the EU increased to 335,365 in 2012. The three countries that received the most applications are:
- Germany (77,650 applications, a 46% increase compared to 2011)
- France (61,455 applications, a 7% increase)
- Sweden (43,945 applications, a 48% increase)
In the UK applications went up by 7%, while in Ireland they went down by 26%.
Most asylum seekers come from:
- Afghanistan (28,005 in 2012, similar to the 28,015 in 2011)
- Russia (24,280, an increase of 32%)
- Syria (24,110, an increase of 206%)The Parliament endorsed earlier this year new asylum rules, that should enter into force in the second half of 2015. These new rules lay down common procedures and deadlines for handling asylum applications and set out basic rights for asylum seekers arriving in the EU.