Data on the Common European Asylum Systems

Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union
Section 4. Data on the Common European Asylum
EASO uses both data published by Eurostat and through the EASO Early Warning and
Preparedness System (EPS) data exchange to produce both public and restricted analyses of
asylum trends. Key indicators to identify and monitor trends in countries receiving asylum
applicants and countries of origin are presented in this section. Data related specifically to Dublin
requests and unaccompanied minors are featured in Section 5 and Section 6, respectively.
EASO manages extensive information exchanges with Member States, the European Commission,
other JHA agencies and partner organisations. In addition, EASO cites official Eurostat statistics and
uses machine learning to analyse big data on conflict and disruptive events in countries of origin and
transit in order to clarify the root causes of individual displacement events. This information is used
by EASO to deliver strategic analysis and design effective operational support. It is shared with core
stakeholders on a regular basis so that the EU can understand and predict arrivals of third country
nationals that might exert particular pressure on national asylum and reception authorities.
EASO works actively to improve the quality of information. Nonetheless, some discrepancies have
been found which affect the interpretation of data on asylum, namely:
In 2020, d ata integration has become the most pressing issue in the area of analysis and
research. In other words, the utility of data is now measured by the extent to which it can be
          F  data on Schengen visa
applications and the number of asylum applications are available, but these data originate from
different sources and are not linked. As a result, it cannot be deduced how many people first
applied for a visa and then applied for asylum. The more data become linked with the necessary
level of precision, the more the EU can design a future-proof and efficient asylum system based
on a detailed understanding of the underlying trends.
Administrative data t end to count administrative procedures rather than individuals, so
information exists on how many applications were lodged but it is not clear how many people
were involved in these procedures. This can have considerable consequences on the
interpretation of the data and how they are used to support decision-making. For example,
counting applications may produce over-estimations at th e EU+ level when some individuals
submit multiple applications at different times or in different countries. At t he same time,
applications might under-estimate the actual pressure on national asylum authorities because
their number is dependent on administrative capacity to register applications.
4.1 Data on applications for international protection
At the EU level
In 2019, almost 740 000 applications for international protection were lodged in EU+ countries, an
increase of 11 % compared to 2018. This was the first time since the migration crisis of 2015 that the
number of applicants started to climb, in part due to a sharp rise in applications from Venezuelan and
other L atin American nationals. In fact, top receiving countries, such as France, Greece and Spain,
received more applicants in 2019 than during the migration crisis.
Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the European Union
Broadly speaking, asylum applications already started to increase back in 2018, but this increase
continued and even accelerated throughout 2019. Correspondingly, more applications were
registered at the end of 2019 than at the beginning of the year (see Figure 4.1).
Figure 4.1 Number of applications by top receiving countries in Europe, 2018-2019
Source: Eurostat.
Following the usual trend, there were five times as many applications for international protection than
detections of illegal border crossings at the external border in 2019, approximately 740 000 compared
to 140 000, respectively.166 Nonetheless, border countries such as Bulgaria, Cyprus, Greece and some
Western Balkans countries detected an increase in illegal border crossings compared to 2018.167
With regard to the characteristics of applicants, the number of female applicants increased in 2019 by
14 %, but still nearly two-thirds of all applications were lodged by males. The proportion of male
applicants, however, far exceeded that of females in countries such as Slovenia (95 % of applications
were lodged by males), Malta and Bulgaria (86 % each). The opposite trend occurred in Hungary,
Germany, Norway, Poland, Spain and Sweden, where the share of female applicants was the highest
across EU+ countries, ranging between 41 % and 45 %.
The age of applicants can also be important, for example to plan adequate health care. Most
applicants were young adults, aged between 18 and 34 years, accounting for nearly one -half of all
applicants for international protection. For older cohorts, over one-fifth of applicants fell into the 35-
to 64-year-old age group and just 1 % were older than 64 years.
From 2015 t o 2019, there have been more minors younger than 14 years old who have lodged
applications than applicants aged 35 to 64 years. These minors accounted for almost one-quarter of
all applicants in 2019, although the gap with the older cohort is narrowing. The number of
unaccompanied minors applying for international protec tion declined in 2019. This group accounted
for just 2 % of applications in 2019, a share which has declined since 2016.
At the country level
Applications continued to be concentrated in a small number of Member States. For instance, in 2019
France, Germany and Spain received more than one-half of all applications in EU+ countries, followed
at a distance by Greece (see Figure 4.1). For the sixth consecutive year, Germany continued to receive
the highest number of applications (about 166 000), albeit a smaller proportion of the total caseload
(22 % of all applications in 2019, down from 28 % in 2018).
10 000
20 000
30 000
40 000
50 000
60 000
70 000
80 000
Jan May Sep Jan May Sep
2018 2019
Germany France Spain Greece Italy Rest of EU+

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