Europe received over 1.1 million asylum claims in 2023, data published by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has shown. (Photo by Sean Gallup/Getty Images)


More than 1.1 million asylum claims for EU in 2023


Europe received more than 1.1 million asylum claims in 2023, data published by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) has shown.

Applications for protection rose a total of 18 per cent across so-called EU+ countries, which includes two non-EU states – Norway and Switzerland – with the number of migrants given recognition for their claims also rising.

According to data released by the EUAA, the plurality of migrant arrivals into the EU registered for asylum in Germany. The country’s 334,000 international protection claims in 2023 accounted for almost a third of all those made throughout the bloc.

France and Spain saw the second- and third-highest number of appliactions, respectively. Italy came in fourth place as the final EU country to see more than 100,000 claims made last year.

The highest number of migrants claimed to be arriving from Syria. Some 181,000 people who said they were from that country made asylum claims in EU+ countries, representing a 38 per cent increase on 2022.

Afghans represented the second-largest registered country of origin in 2023, despite the number of arrivals falling by 11 per cent compared to the previous year.

The EUAA report also highlighted a recent spike in asylum requests from those claiming to be from Turkey, with the number of alleged arrivals from the country hitting a high in the fourth quarter of 2023.

In total, more than 100,000 alleged Turkish nationals sought asylum in EU+ countries in 2023, representing a more than 80 per cent increase over 2022.

The EUAA stated that these overall new figures represented some of the highest levels of asylum claims since the migrant crisis of 2015 and 2016.

One-fifth of those who made applications in the bloc arrived from countries with visa-free travel with the EU. More than 60,000 individuals from both Colombia and Venezuela requested international protection in 2022.

The EU body also noted that the rate at which Member States recognised asylum claims also appeared to be on the rise.

According to the data, 43 per cent of those requesting asylum received some form of international protection within EU+ countries last year, compared to 40 per cent in 2022.

This figure was higher for some nationalities. Around 61 per cent of Afghans received protection, while 96 per cent of Syrians were granted at least some form of asylum status.

Other countries appear to be far less tolerated. Just 14 per cent of Nigerian claimants received any form of protection within the bloc last year, while only 4 per cent of Georgian applicants were successful.

None of these figures account for the approximately 4.4 million Ukrainian nationals currently residing as refugees in EU nations. Those fleeing the war-torn country are processed under different criteria than migrants from the rest of the world.