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Annual Report 2018 - Highlights

On 24 June 2019, EASO organised the launch of the EASO Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU+ 2018 in Brussels.

The 2018 EASO Annual Report and Executive Summary are available in digital and PDF versions, and can be accessed or downloaded by clicking on the below links: 


The Executive Summary is available in 23 EU linguistic versions

[EN] [BG] [CS] [DA] [DE] [EL] [ES] [ET] [FI] [FR] [GA] [HR] [HU] [IT] [LT] [LV] [MT] [NL] [PL] [PT] [RO] [SK] [SL] [SV]  

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The EASO Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU+ 2018 is a reference document, which aims at providing a comprehensive overview of asylum-related developments in the areas of legislation, policy and practice both at an EU level and at the level of national asylum systems. Drawing from a variety of sources, the report looks into main asylum-related statistical trends and analyses changes in regards to the functioning of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS) during the reference year.

Per established methodology, in an effort to capture developments in an integrative, synthetic way, an attempt is made to include a diversity of perspectives eliciting input from a multiplicity of actors, who - in different capacities - are involved in the area of asylum. To this end, apart from constantly monitoring developments by performing desk research throughout the reference year looking into already existing sources, the team drafting the EASO Annual Report has opened up a number of input processes, meant to feed into the report, always in consultation with key partners, including UNHCR and the European Migration Network. 

According to the main findings and figures:

    Increased solidarity among EU+ countries and a sense of shared responsibility have been defined as the foundational blocks for the functioning and calibration of the CEAS.
    The 664 480 applications for international protection in EU+ marked a decrease for the third consecutive year, this time by 10 %. While the number of applications remained remarkably stable throughout 2018, the relative stability at EU+ level conceals stark variation between Member States and between individual citizenships.
    Temporary arrangements for disembarkation, developed in a transparent step-by-step work plan, based on a mutual understanding of shared interests, could ensure the delivery of operational and effective assistance from the European Commission, EU agencies, and other Member States to the Member State under pressure.
    In 2018, EU+ countries introduced a number of changes in the first steps of the asylum procedure with the purpose of eliciting as much information from applicants as possible and at the earliest possible stage.
    Language diversity among applicants remained at almost the same levels as in 2017, putting interpretation at the forefront of procedural needs.
    As many applications moved to second instance in 2018, courts and tribunals had more opportunities to deliver clarifying decisions, further shaping other areas of the asylum procedure needs.

Dr. David Costello, Chair of the EASO Management Board, stated at the event: "Today’s launch of the 2018 EASO Annual Report provides an opportunity to reflect on the state of play of asylum in the European Union, and also on the development of the Common European Asylum System, in the context both of the 20th anniversary of the Tampere agreement and the coming into operation of the 1999 Amsterdam Treaty, which provides its legislative basis."

Mr. Henrik Nielsen, representative from the European Commission, noted: "We still see a very high caseload of asylum applications in a number of EU Member States; a very uneven pressure in terms of how that caseload is distributed among Member States. The Report shows how a number of Member States continue to improve their national asylum systems, and the importance of EASO in supporting them. It also shows that we need a reform of the Common European Asylum System."

Commenting on the main findings, Ms. Nina Gregori, EASO's Executive Director, highlighted: "In 2018 we saw some very important decisions of the Court of Justice of the European Union. EASO closely follows these developments thanks to its activities with the members of courts and tribunals, and the public debates on case law. I think that the independence of court decision-makers and the different legal systems in the EU will be very important for the future of the Common European Asylum System."

EASO will continue its work, within its mandate, to delivering on its core tasks, including: operational support, capacity building and training, facilitating practical cooperation among EU+ countries, collecting and analysing qualitative and quantitative information, including information on countries of origin, and contributing to the implementation of the external dimension of the EU migration policy.