Barcelona – Nearly one million people will apply for international protection in the European Union in 2022, according to data released Wednesday, bringing the number of asylum applications to levels not seen since the 2015-2016 refugee crisis. .
According to the EU asylum authority, 966,000 asylum applications were filed in 27 EU countries, Norway and Switzerland last year, a 50% increase from 2021. EU, a special mechanism launched to avoid the collapse of the already outstanding asylum system.
European agencies have linked the increase to continued easing of COVID-19 travel restrictions, rising food insecurity and conflict in many parts of the world. They enter the EU legally by air, but some cross the EU’s land and sea borders without authorization, mainly via the Western Balkans and the Mediterranean.
After more than a decade of war and economic collapse, Syrians remained the most multinational of European asylum seekers with over 130,000 applications. Afghans fleeing worsening security, humanitarian and financial difficulties following the Taliban takeover in August 2021 have fled with 129,000 requests.
Applicants from Turkey came in third place, doubling with 55,000 applications. Rapid inflation and “democratic recession” were among the factors believed to have caused the increase, officials said.
In many places, reception centers are overwhelmed and asylum seekers are left on the streets.
Recent earthquakes that have killed nearly 46,000 people and left hundreds of thousands homeless in Turkey and Syria have raised concerns that irregular border crossings to Greece could surge.Germany earlier this month Temporarily ease visa restrictions for some earthquake survivors Meanwhile, Spain has pledged to resettle a small group of 100 vulnerable Syrian refugees from Turkey, home to 4 million refugees.
Venezuelans, Colombians, Bangladeshis and Georgians applied for asylum in record numbers last year, as did Moroccans, Tunisians and Egyptians. About 4% of asylum seekers in 2022 claimed to be unaccompanied minors.
The European agency did not disclose which EU countries received the most applications last year. However, an internal EU migration report viewed by AP lists Germany, France, Spain, Austria and Italy in the top five.
Asylum authorities made decisions on more than 600,000 applications last year, but received many more new cases, adding to the existing backlog. 40% of the applications analyzed were refugee status, mainly for applicants from Syria, Belarus, Eritrea, Yemen, and Mali, and most Ukrainians who chose to apply for asylum rather than temporary protection. Granted status or ancillary protection.
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