Europe

EU granted asylum to 281,000 people last year

Syrian, Venezuelan, Afghan nationals were main beneficiaries of protection status issued by an EU state

Agnes Szucs   | 21.04.2021
EU granted asylum to 281,000 people last year

BRUSSELS

Over 280,000 asylum-seekers were granted protection by an EU country in 2020, the bloc's statistics office announced on Wednesday.

According to the latest data published by Eurostat, the bloc offered protection to 5% fewer people in 2020 than the previous year, with 281,000 successful application procedures compared to 295,600 beneficiaries in 2019.

Syrian nationals were the top group whose asylum claims were accepted, making up 27% of all protection beneficiaries. They were followed by Venezuelans at 17% and Afghans at 15%.

Five countries -- Germany, Spain, Greece, France, and Italy -- granted protection to over 80% of applicants.

Germany alone decided to approve 98,000 claims, followed by 51,200 positive decisions in Spain and 35,800 in Greece, as well as 29,400 protection cases in France and 21,300 in Italy.

A 60% majority of Syrian nationals and 35% of Afghans were welcomed by Germany, while nearly all – 96% – of Venezuelan applicants found asylum in Spain.

Among the 281,000 successful asylum claims in 2020, 127,700 resulted in refugee status, allowing the widest range of rights and benefits, while 80,700 were granted humanitarian protection and 72,600 subsidiary protection.

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