The number of asylum applications in the European Union has risen for the first time since 2015 and the trend is expected to continue despite the coronavirus pandemic, the European Asylum Office (EASO) told The Eastern Herald.
EU member states reported an 11 percent increase in asylum applications in the month of May.
The growth is partly due to “a sharp rise in applications from Venezuela (+103 percent compared to 2018) and Colombia (+214 percent compared to 2018),” according to EASO.
- Some countries such as Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta and Spain received more asylum applications in 2019 than during the so-called migration crisis in 2015 and 2016 – EASO added.
Germany processed 22 percent of the 738,425 asylum applications recorded across the EU, followed by France (17 percent) and Spain (16 percent). Syrians, Afghans and Venezuelans were the most numerous applicants with a 16 percent increase in the first two months of 2020, but the COVID-19 pandemic has since led to a dramatic reduction of 87 percent.
- In April alone, about 8,700 applications for international protection were registered in EU countries – according to EASO.
© The Eastern Herald