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4.5.2. Data on decisions issued on asylum applications at second or higher instances

4.5.2. Data on decisions issued on asylum applications at second or higher instances

Data on decisions issued on asylum applications at second or higher instances

In 2022, EU+ countries issued about 221,000 decisions on appealed asylum applications, comparable to 2021. The number of decisions issued at second or higher instances was the second-lowest since 2015 (see Figure 18). To some extent, the number of decisions issued in appeal or review is determined by the volume of negative decisions issued by first instance authorities. After falling in 2018 and remaining stable for 3 consecutive years, the number of negative decisions at first instance increased by 11% in 2022, reaching the highest level since 2017.

As in previous years, Germany (75,000) and France (66,000) continued to issue the most decisions at second or higher instances, accounting for 34% and 30% of the total, respectively (see Figure 19). This is only natural given that these two countries also issued the most decisions on first instance applications. A large volume of decisions in appeal or review were also taken in Italy, Greece, Sweden and Austria (in descending order).

While issuing the most decisions overall, Germany continued to issue fewer decisions at second or higher instances for the fifth consecutive year, down to the lowest level since 2014. This is a trend across several EU+ countries, with similar patterns appearing in Finland, Sweden and Switzerland. It is worth noting that Denmark, Norway, Sweden and Switzerland issued the least decisions at second or higher instances since at least 2008 (see Figure 19).This refers to the start of the harmonised data collection by Eurostat. 

The second-lowest number of decisions in 7 years were issued at second or higher instances.

Figure 18. Number of decisions at first and second or higher instances, 2014–2022

Figure 18. Number of decisions at first and second or higher instances, 2014–2022
Source: Eurostat [migr_asydcfina] as of 13 April 2023. 

Germany and France issued the majority of decisions at second or higher instances

Figure 19. Top countries issuing decisions at second or higher instances in 2022 and trendlines for 2008–2022

Figure 19. Top countries issuing decisions at second or higher instances in 2022 and trendlines for 2008–2022

Source: Eurostat [migr_asydcfstq] as of 13 April 2023.

In relative terms, the most notable decrease in decisions issued at second or higher instances compared to 2021 took place in Lithuania (885), where the number of decisions peaked in the previous year (3,200). Lithuania was the only country where there were more decisions taken at second or higher instances than at first instance, which suggests that a substantial number of first instance decisions in Lithuania were appealed in 2022 or earlier.

In contrast, there were notable increases in Cyprus (4,300, the most since at least 2008), Ireland (2,300, the most since 2010) and Spain (3,900, the most since at least 2008) (see Figure 19). These record highs were likely associated with high levels of decision-making at first instance as well: while Ireland issued the most decisions at first instance since at least 2008, Cyprus and Spain took the second-most decisions in at last 14 years.

France issued more decisions at second or higher instances compared to the previous 2 years, almost back to the peak of 2019. Greece took more decisions on appeals than in 2021, but the level nonetheless remained lower than in 2020 (see Figure 19).

As in previous years, around 7 in every 10 decisions at the appeal stage were issued to male applicants, mainly adults. Less than one-fifth (17%) of all decisions at second or higher instances were issued to minors, with only a slight prevalence of boys over girls. The share of minors was the lowest since 2009.

In 2022, most decisions on appeals continued to be issued to Afghan applicants (23,000 or 10% of the total), followed by Nigerians, Iraqis, Pakistanis, Bangladeshis, Syrians and Turks. For several consecutive years in a row, the number of decisions issued to Afghans and Iraqis continued to drop. Meanwhile, the number of decisions on appeal remained stable for Nigerians and Syrians compared to the previous year (see Figure 20).

Decisions on appeal rose for Bangladeshis, Georgians, Pakistanis and Turks

Figure 20. Number of decisions on appeal by top nationalities, 2014-2022

 Figure 20. Number of decisions on appeal by top nationalities, 2014-2022

Source: Eurostat [migr_asydcfsta] as of 13 April 2023. 

In contrast, authorities in EU+ countries issued more decisions on appeal than in 2021 to citizens of Pakistan, Bangladesh, Türkiye and Georgia (in descending order). Some nationalities received the most decisions since at least 2008, namely Bangladeshis, Turks and, on a smaller scale, Colombians, Chadians and Comorians.Only citizenships with over 1,000 decisions at second or higher instances in 2022 were considered.