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Asylum applications in EU continue to rise in H1

The number of asylum applications continued to increase in the first six months of this year in EU countries, Norway and Switzerland, an EU agency announced on Tuesday.

“During the first half of 2023, applications for asylum rose to 519 000, a 28% increase compared to the first half of 2022,” the EU’s Agency for Asylum said in a statement.

National authorities are “under pressure with processing applications and protecting those in need,” the statement said, adding that 13 EU countries requested the EU Asylum Agency’s help to process the files.

However, the backlog in pending asylum cases grew, and “the number of cases awaiting decisions also increased by 34% from 2022,” the agency said.

On average, the 27 EU countries plus Norway and Switzerland granted refugee status or subsidiary protection at the first decision in 41% of the cases.

Syrians continue to be the biggest group of origin in asylum procedures with over 67,000 applications.

In 95% of the cases, Syrians were granted international protection which is the highest recognition rate in the EU. In comparison, only 58% of applicants of Afghan origin received asylum.

Most of the Syrians – over 62% of them – were received by Germany.

The number of applicants from Ivory Coast and Guinea grew by over 50%, accounting for 9,300 and 8,700 files.

Source: AA