During the second quarter of 2015 (April-June), 213,200 first-time asylum seekers applied for protection in the European Union (EU). This figure represents an increase of 15% compared with the Q1 2015, and of 85% compared with Q2 2014, reported Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, on Friday. During Q2 2015, there were 80,935 asylum applications in Germany (38% of the EU total), and 5,040 in Belgium (2.4% of the EU total).
When considered proportionally to the population of each EU Member State, the highest first-time application rates during the Q2 2015 were recorded in Hungary (3,317 first-time asylum seekers per million inhabitants), ahead of Austria (2,026), Sweden (1,467), and Germany (997). In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Slovakia (5 applications per million inhabitants) and Croatia (6). In Q2 2015, there were 420 first-time asylum seekers for every million EU inhabitants.
Asylum seekers in the EU for Q2 2015 were predominantly Syrian, accounting for 21% of the EU total (44,000 first-time applications). The second most common nationality was Afghan, which made up 13% of the EU total (27,000 first-time applications). Albania also features in the ‘top 3’, with 17,700 first-time asylum seekers (8% of the EU total). In Belgium, Syrians made up 20% of the first-time asylum seekers, Somalians 16% and Iraqis 13%.
Oscar Schneider (Source: Belga)