Nearly 1 million asylum seekers register in the EU in 2022

FILE - Migrants run on Spanish soil after crossing the fences separating the Spanish enclave of Melilla from Morocco in Melilla, Spain, Friday, June 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Javier Bernardo, File)
By John Cody
4 Min Read

Nearly 1 million migrants registered for asylum in Europe in 2022, which is the largest number recorded since 2016, according to the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA).

The figures, which were released Wednesday, highlight Europe’s growing inability to protect its external borders. The applications, which were filed mainly by Syrians and Afghans, jumped by more than 50 percent compared to 2021, according to EUAA data.

The agency states that the increase is due “in part to the lifting of restrictions linked to the Covid-19 pandemic,” but it also cites food scarcity and global conflicts.

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The figure of 966,000, however, does not tell the full story. On top of that number, another 4 million Ukrainians have entered EU countries in 2022, but this group was never required to file asylum claims, as they are automatically given a temporary protection designation.

Syrians were at the top with 132,000 applications, Afghans were in second with 129,000, and the Turks were in third with 55,000 applications. The data also shows surging numbers of South Americans arriving in Europe, with 51,000 applications from Venezuelans and 43,000 from Colombians. These groups do not require a visa to enter the EU area, and they submitted three times as many applications as in 2021.

Europeans concerned about the ongoing demographic transformation of the continent have been protesting against mass immigration in countries such as Ireland, while anti-immigration parties are soaring in popularity in countries such as Sweden, Denmark, Italy and Austria.

While many Europeans may be unaware of the exact data, many have seen their towns and cities transformed by mass immigration over the past years, and politicians are also taking note. Last year, Austrian Chancellor Karl Nehammer said, “Austria is currently heavily burdened by illegal migration. The contribution that we are making in Europe is disproportionately high. The EU’s migration policy has failed. There is still no strong protection of the European Union’s external borders, and the reality of the problem is being ignored.”

In February of this year, Nehammer noted that his country had taken in a record-breaking 100,000 migrants in 2022, with three-quarters of them never registered in the EU or another Schengen country before arriving. He said this was a “massive security problem for the entire European Union.”

He is just one of many politicians slamming Europe’s immigration and border security policies, with Hungary’s government just announcing this week it was extending its emergency crisis rules related to illegal immigration for another six months.

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While the number of foreigners arriving in Europe is enormous, the EUAA data also shows other worrying figures for those opposed to mass immigration. For example, the EU granted refugee status to 40 percent of first-time applicants, the highest number in five years.

This rate for granting refugee status is particularly high for Syrians at 94 percent, while Belarusians are in second at 88 percent. Other groups like Eritreans and Yemenis also had a high acceptance rate at 84 percent each. Other foreign nationals were less fortunate, with those from India, Moldova, North Macedonia and Vietnam having receiving refugee status in 1 percent of cases, while those from Tunisia and Bosnia-Herzegovina were at 2 percent, and applicants from Venezuela, Serbia and Nepal were at 3 percent.

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