EU's first-time asylum seekers more than double over spring - Eurostat

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By Reuters
EU's first-time asylum seekers more than double over spring - Eurostat
EU's first-time asylum seekers more than double over spring - Eurostat   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p> – The number of first-time asylum seekers to the European Union has more than doubled over the spring months, according to a report by the bloc’s statistics office on Friday.</p> <p>Nearly 103,900 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in EU countries between April and June of this year, according to Eurostat, up 115% compared to the same period of 2020. </p> <p>Over the three months, Syrians represented around a fifth of first-time applicants – by far the largest group – followed by Afghans at 13% and Pakistanis at 4%.</p> <p>Numbers of unaccompanied children applying for asylum also rose, up by nearly a fifth year-on-year to reach 4,240, with most minors applying for entry to Belgium, Austria and Germany.</p> <p>The Baltic states of Estonia and Latvia, as well as the Czech Republic and Malta, did not record any applications from unaccompanied children.</p> <p>It was Western Europe – Germany, France and Spain https://graphics.reuters.com/EUROPE-<span class="caps">MIGRANTS</span>/lgvdwkqnepo/chart.png – which recorded the largest numbers of first-time applicants, while Hungary – whose government strongly opposes Muslim migration into Europe – received only 10 applicants.</p> <p>German Chancellor Angela Merkel suffered electoral setbacks after opening Germany to Syrian refugees back in 2015, but in a sign of changing mood the country’s mayors have now offered to take in more refugees.</p> <p>Eurostat’s report follows a contentious plan the EU’s executive launched on Wednesday to overhaul broken migration rules and provide a better welcome for refugees fleeing the Middle East and Africa. </p> <p>The proposals, intended to be put in place from 2023, put emphasis on sending back those who fail to win asylum. </p> <p>According to Eurostat, the number of people re-applying for asylum following a previous decision fell 51% compared to the first three months of the year.</p> <p/> </div>