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The 28 Member States of the European Union (EU) granted protection status to nearly 333 400 asylum seekers in 2018, down by almost 40% from 2017 (533 000). In addition to these, the EU Member States received over 24 800 resettled refugees, informs Eurostat.
Berniukas pabėgėlių stovykloje prie Turkijos-Sirijos pasienio
Berniukas pabėgėlių stovykloje prie Turkijos-Sirijos pasienio
© AFP / Scanpix

The largest group of beneficiaries of protection status in the EU in 2018 remained citizens of Syria (96 100 persons, or 29% of the total number of persons granted protection status in the EU Member States), followed by citizens of Afghanistan (53 500 or 16%) and those of Iraq (24 600 or 7%), as compared with 2017 when 172 900 or 32% of asylum seekers granted protection were Syrians, 99 800 or 19% were Afghanis and 63 800 or 12% were Iraqis.

Syrians were the largest group granted protection status in sixteen Member States in 2018. Of the 96 100 Syrians granted protection status in the EU, almost 70% were recorded in Germany (67 000).

Meanwhile, in Lithuania, 140 positive decisions on asylum applications were made in 2018. 120 persons got refugee status and 20 were granted with subsidiary protection.

The highest number for granted protection was given to Sirians (55), Russians (30), and Tajiks (25).

More than 40% of all positive decisions in the EU granted in Germany

In 2018, the highest number of persons granted protection status was registered in Germany (139 600), ahead of Italy (47 900) and France (41 400).

Out of all the persons who were granted protection status in 2018 in the EU, 163 800 persons were granted refugee status (49% of all positive decisions), 100 300 were given subsidiary protection (30%) and 69 300 authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons (21%). It should be noted that, while both refugee and subsidiary protection status are defined by EU law, humanitarian status is granted on the basis of national legislation.

Above one third of asylum decisions at the first instance made in the EU resulted in protection
status

In 2018, almost 582 000 first instance decisions on asylum applications were made in the EU Member States and a further 309 000 final decisions following an appeal. Decisions made at the first instance resulted in 217 400 persons being granted protection status, while a further 116 000 received protection status on appeal.

Recognition rates differ greatly between citizenships

The recognition rate, i.e. the share of positive decisions among the total number of decisions, was 37% for first instance decisions in the EU.

For final decisions on appeal, the recognition rate was 38%.

The outcomes of decisions on asylum applications, and therefore the recognition rate, vary between countries of citizenship of asylum applicants. Among the twenty main citizenships of asylum applicants on which decisions were taken at first instance in 2018, recognition rates in the EU ranged from around 5% for citizens of Georgia to 88% for Syrians and 83% for Eritreans.

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