The number of asylum applications in the European Union more than doubled from April to June this year compared to the second quarter of last year. In total, member states registered 103,895 applications, according to EU statistics office Eurostat. Most newcomers arrived from Syria, while the number of Afghans increased significantly.
The number of asylum seekers in the second quarter of 2021 was 115 percent higher year-over-year and nine percent higher than in the previous quarter. However, the number of asylum applications is still far behind the peaks of 2015 and 2016, when more than a million applications were submitted each year in EU countries. In the spring of 2020, the number of applications fell sharply due to Covid-19 travel restrictions.
In the second quarter of this year, most new asylum seekers came from Syria, with almost 20,500 applications. Syrians were followed by applicants from Afghanistan (13,860) and Pakistan (4,430). The number of applications from Afghanistan increased by 216 percent compared to last year and by 28 percent compared to the previous quarter. These increases are significantly higher than in the case of Syrians and Pakistanis.
In the second quarter, most people applied for asylum in Germany (29,545), France (22,015), and Spain (12,335). Between April and June, 61 percent of all new asylum applications were registered in these three countries.
Belgium (620), Austria (615), and Germany (610) recorded the most applicants from unaccompanied minors. In total, there were 4,240 of them in the EU in the second quarter of this year. In the Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, and Malta, on the other hand, there were no such applicants, according to the Eurostat report.