Friday, June 25, 2021

Afghan Nationals Remain the Second Top Nation With Most EU+ Asylum Applications, EASO Reports

Afghans continue being the second-largest group of applicants in the EU, meaning the nation lodged among the most applications for 2020, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) has revealed in the latest Country of Origin Information report (COI), published on June 25.

According to the report, during 2020, 48,578 Afghans applied for asylum in the EU+ countries. These figures marked a 16 per cent decrease compared to 2019 but a higher number of applications compared to pre-pandemic levels in 2018, reports.

Moreover, the recognition rate for Afghans this year was 53 per cent, whereas, in 2019, this figure was five per cent lower.

By the end of April 2019, Afghans made up 11 per cent of the total number of applications pending at the first trial phase cases in the EU, accounting for 41,100 cases from the country.

However, the number of pending cases for periods longer than six months increased during the pandemic and has remained above ever since, marking increases even compared to pre-pandemic levels.

The top three EU countries to receive the most applications from Afghan nationals in 2021 were Germany, France, and Romania, replacing Greece, which was a top destination for Afghan applicants in 2020.

Recently, EASO has published a similar report on Syrians’ interest in EU+ countries, revealing that 66 per cent of them do not intend to return to their home country any time soon. However, in December 2020, 137 Syrians voluntarily returned to their home country from Denmark, which is home to 35,000 Syrian nationals. Following this act, the Danish government offered £ 22,000 (€25,764) for each returnee.

The Netherlands, which currently counts 77,000 Syrian nationals, previously let go of only ten Syrians who voluntarily returned to their home country.

Only ten Syrian nationals left voluntarily the Netherlands, which currently counts 77,000 Syrians.

A study carried out by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), shows that 90 per cent of Syrians currently living in Egypt, Lebanon, Jordan, and Iraq do not plan to return to Syria in the next twelve months.

Previously, Greece, the country that Afghans and Syrians land to initially, reaffirmed its position to continue allowing secondary movement for migrants and refugees, meaning they are free to transit to other EU countries.

This move caused a stirring debate among EU countries, which last December issued a letter directed to the European Commission, expressing concerns over the “rapid increase” of refugees being granted Greek documents.

We’re obliged to provide residence permits and travel documents to recognised refugees,” the Greek Migration Minister, Notis Miarachi said, indicating that the migrants are attracted to higher salaries and benefits found in the EU member states.

However, Amnesty International organisation (AI) issued a 46-page report, presenting evidence of abuse of refugees conducted by the Greek border control authorities with Adriana Tidona, AI’s spokeswoman noting such violations occurred in Evros regions, among others.

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