The number of asylum applicants in Lithuanian last year stood at 440, a 10 percent increase from 2013 with 400 applications. The applicants in Lithuania in 2014 accounted for 0.1 percent asylum seekers in the European Union in total, Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union, reports.
© Artūras Morozovas

The majority of applicants in Lithuania were from Georgia (115 seekers or 27 percent), Afghanistan (85 or 19 percent), and Ukraine (70 or 16 percent).

Over a year, the number of asylum applicants registered in the European Union (EU) has increased by 191 000 (+44 percent) to reach a peak of 626 000 in 2014. In particular, the number of Syrians rose by 72 000, from 50 000 in 2013 to almost 123 000 in 2014.

In 2014, the highest number of applicants was registered by far in Germany (202 700 applicants, or 32 percent of total applicants), followed by Sweden (81 200, or 13 percent), Italy (64 600, or 10 percent), France (62 800, or 10 percent) and Hungary (42 800, or 7 percent). It should be noted that these five member-states registered different trends last year. The number of asylum applicants in 2014 more than doubled compared with 2013 in Italy (+143 percent) and Hungary (+126 percent) and increased significantly in Germany (+60 percent) and Sweden (+50 percent), while it decreased by 5 percent in France.

Compared with the population of each member-state, the highest rates of registered applicants were recorded in Sweden (8.4 applicants per thousand inhabitants), well ahead of Hungary (4.3), Austria (3.3), Malta (3.2),Denmark (2.6) and Germany (2.5). In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Portugal, Slovakia and Romania. In 2014, there were 1.2 asylum applicants per thousand inhabitants in the EU.

Syria (122 800 asylum applicants, or 20 percent of the total number of applicants) continued to be the main country of citizenship of asylum applicants. Of the 122 800 Syrians who applied for asylum in the EU in 2014, around 60 percent were registered in 2 member-states: Germany (41 100) and Sweden (30 800). Syrians represented also the main citizenship of asylum seekers in Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Austria, Romania and Slovenia.

Afghanistan (41 300 asylum applicants, or 7 percent of the total number of applicants) became the second country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU in 2014. Of the 41 300 Afghans seeking asylum protection in the EU in 2014, 9 700 were registered in Germany and 8 800 in Hungary.

With 37 900 applicants (or 6 percent of the EU total) in 2014, Kosovo completed the top 3 citizenships of asylum seekers in the EU. More than half applied for asylum in Hungary (21 500).

In some member-states, at least half of the applicants came from a single country. This was the case in 2014 in Cyprus (57 percent of the applicants came from Syria), Bulgaria (56 percent from Syria), Hungary (50 percent from Kosovo ) and Poland (50 percent from Russia).

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