Cyprus had the highest rate of first time asylum applicants relative to population in the European Union in the third quarter of 2019 according to figures published by Eurostat.
It said the figure for Cyprus was 3305 first-time applicants per million population. Second was Malta with 2691 and third Greece with 1645, it said.
By contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Slovakia (12 applicants per million population), Hungary (15) and Poland (18). In the third quarter of 2019, there were in total 324 first-time asylum applicants per million population in the EU as a whole.
Eurostat said that during the third quarter of 2019, 166,400 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the European Union (EU). This was an increase of 12% compared with the second quarter of 2019.
Most applications from Syrians, Afghans and Venezuelans
With 20,900 first-time applicants between July and September 2019, Syrians remained the largest group of persons seeking international protection in the EU Member States, ahead of Afghans (14,400 first-time applicants) and Venezuelans (9,600). In the third quarter of 2019, people from these countries comprised the three main citizenships of first-time asylum applicants in the EU Member States, and accounted for 27% of all first-time asylum applicants.
Most applicants for asylum in Germany, France and Spain
During the third quarter of 2019, the highest number of first-time applicants was registered in Germany (with 37 300 first-time asylum applicants, or 22% of total first-time applicants in the EU Member States), followed by France (30 500, or 18%) and Spain (25 800, or 16%). These three Member States together accounted for 56% of all first-time asylum applicants in the EU-28 in the third quarter of 2019.
Almost 900 000 asylum applications still pending
Pending applications for international protection are those that have been made at any time and are still under consideration by the relevant national authorities at the end of the reference period. In other words, they refer to the “stock” of applications for which decisions are still pending.
At the end of September 2019, 874,700 applications for asylum protection in the EU Member States were under consideration by the national authorities, a decrease of 1% compared with both September 2018 and June 2019. With 339,700 pending applications at the end of September 2019, Germany had the largest share in the EU (39% of the EU total), ahead of Spain (124,500, or 14%), Greece (90,200, or 10%) and France (66,800, or 8%).