The number of asylum applications in European countries increased by a third in 2021 compared to the previous year, not counting the 3.4 million Ukrainian refugees who flooded into the European Union this year.
Presenting the annual report, the Director General of the European Asylum Agency, Nina Gregory, indicated that in 2021, about 648,000 asylum applications were submitted to the countries of the European Union, Switzerland, Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein, representing an increase of one third in year and return to the level at which the number of asylum applications was in 2018, i.e. before the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic, during which the number of such applications decreased.
Syrian asylum seekers top the list with 117,000, followed by Afghans (102,000), Iraqis (30,000), Pakistanis and Turks (25,000 each) and Bangladeshis (20,000).
And the EU has granted them an unprecedented and automatic status. This “temporary protection” allows them to receive housing, work and education for a year with the possibility of extension. The regime given to Ukrainians has prompted accusations of “double standards” among the refugees.
In 2021, Germany received the highest number of asylum applications (191,000), ahead of France (121,000), Spain (65,000) and Italy (53,000). Men made up 70 percent of the asylum seekers.
The percentage of granting refugee status or subsidiary protection has reached 34%. The highest rate was among Eritreans (81%) and the lowest among Georgians (3%).