Commentary Asylum

Czechia has the strictest asylum policy in the EU

Last year, the Czech Ministry of the Interior granted international protection to one out of ten applicants. Those who appealed were even less successful at around 2 percent.

In the EU, the chances of obtaining asylum or subsidiary protection are three times higher than in the Czech Republic, the latest statistics by Eurostat show. In Switzerland, which is also included in the statistics, the ratio was reversed: nine out of ten asylum seekers succeeded. Furthermore, the number of applicants was ten times higher than in the Czech Republic.

In Germany, which has the highest number of asylum seekers, the success rate is about 42 percent. In France and Italy, it is 28 and 32 percent, respectively. In total, last year, the European Union processed 582,000 asylum applications, and 217,000 of them ended with a decision to grant asylum or subsidiary protection.

The Czech authorities viewed 1,385 cases, granting asylum or subsidiary protection to 155 people, i.e., fifteen applicants per million inhabitants were successful. Neighboring Austria, in the same period, received 2,345 refugees per million inhabitants, the most in the EU.

The Ministry of the Interior explains these differences by the composition of the applicants. “In 2018, citizens of Syria, Afghanistan, and Iraq submitted the most applications in the EU. This corresponds to applications filed mainly in Germany, Greece, but also in France,” says Ondřej Krátoška, ​​spokesman for the Ministry.

According to Krátoška, a high percentage of rejected applications is also due to the higher proportion of applicants from Ukraine, Georgia, Cuba, and Armenia in the Czech Republic compared to the rest of the EU. In many cases, these nationalities already live in the Czech Republic, and they only seek to legalize their stay.

Another fact is that even though many applicants have applied for international protection, they are in many cases applying in the Czech Republic only to have the opportunity to continue their journey to another EU country.

"In 2018, there were cases of citizens of Cuba and Armenia who made their applications in the transit area of ​​an international airport to travel further to the EU. As a measure against this abuse of the asylum system, both these nationalities were obliged to hold airport transit visas in 2018 and 2019,” Krátoška added.

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