Europe has seen a dramatic increase in asylum applications in the first quarter of the year, according to recent figures from the European Asylum Support Office (EASO).
As European Union member states work hard to tackle the humanitarian crisis resulting from the Russo-Ukrainian conflict, which has now resulted in 4 million refugees fleeing their homes, the flow of migration from the south is also intensifying.
EASO figures show a 68 percent rise in asylum applications compared to the same period last year, with 170,000 applications being made in the first three months of the year — Ukrainians were not included in these statistics.
In many countries, such as Germany, these parallel migratory flows are converging, placing pressure on the local authorities. However, the influx of refugees from Eastern Europe and the Mediterranean significantly differs.
Entrants from northern Africa are mainly young men, while the majority of refugees arriving from Ukraine consist of women and children. Compared to refugees from Afghanistan and Arab countries, Ukrainians are not seeking asylum. They rarely apply for it because, due to the war, they are entitled to protection in EU countries that will no longer require visas.
The EU evidently needs a long-discussed reform of the asylum system. Germany remains the primary destination country for the majority of asylum seekers, with people from Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq, and Turkey heading there.
The Dublin system is no longer working. According to Die Welt, every second asylum seeker comes to Germany from other European countries without trying to register there.
Many Ukrainians do not want to stay in the host countries permanently, and after the cessation of fighting in the Kyiv region, the influx of Ukrainians heading to safe countries slowed. Their integration is not complicated because they have been looking for jobs in Europe for many years.
Poland informed that after the opening of the labor market to the Ukrainians, 21,000 of them were able to find work there immediately. In addition to jobs in the kitchen or cleaning, many have already started businesses. However, the influx of refugees to Poland is still significant.
On the contrary, there is an assumption that refugees from North Africa and the Middle East will remain in Europe. They are fleeing mainly because of poverty and frustration with the conditions there. The influx of these predominantly economic migrants is likely to intensify as the global crisis deepens due to the war in Ukraine.