“Available data show EU member states granted protection status to around 185,000 asylum seekers in 2014, almost a 50% increase on 2013”, said the European office of statistics (Eurostat) on Tuesday. Belgium granted protection status to 8,515 people. “The main beneficiaries of protection status in the EU in 2014 were nationals from Syria (68,400 people representing 37% of the total number of people granted asylum), followed by Eritrea (14,600 (8%)) and Afghanistan (14,100 (8%))”, reveals Eurostat.
Four countries (Germany, Sweden, France and Italy) gave protection to almost 60% of the total number of asylum seekers. In 2014, Germany topped the table (47,555, an 82% increase on 2013) followed by Sweden (33,025, +25%), France (20,640, +27%) and Italy (20,630, + 42%).
Of the 358,365 decisions made by EU member states in 2014, 161,010 resulted in positive outcome at the first instance and 23, 655 on appeal. The first instance acceptance rates varied greatly between the member states, from 9% in Belgium to 94% in Bulgaria (40% in Belgium and 42% in Germany), the European average being 45%.
According to Eurostat, protection status includes refugee status, subsidiary protection, and humanitarian reasons. Austria, due to on-going changes to their computer information system, is not included in these statistics.