Asylum seekers up by 30% in 2013, EU says

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2013 saw around 435.000 people seeking for international protection in the European Union, a 30% increase compared to 2012, according to a report published by Europe’s Asylum Office on Monday.

But Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström called on member states to show greater generosity toward those seeking refuge in Europe, as recent statistics show that EU countries are not sharing equally the responsibility of granting asylum.

“As we know today, it is not even half of the member states who really do their part in receiving the asylum seekers. So we hope that this will lead to similar procedures, similar outcomes, and similar conditions no matter where an asylum seeker hands over their application.” said EU Home Affairs Commissioner Cecilia Malmström.

The EU’s statistics office Eurostat revealed last June that countries like Greece only approved 4% of initial asylum applications last year.

On the other hand, Sweden, Germany, France, Italy and the UK shared 70% of the accepted requests across the EU in 2013.

“In some member states there are minor adjustments to be done, some have more to do and some countries will actually have to build up a system basically from the beginning and with all this in place in a couple of years hopefully all 28 countries can take responsibility.” Malmström added.

In 2013, most of asylum seekers came from Syria, Russia and the Western Balkans.


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