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No internationally agreed methodology for calculating the recognition rate currently exists. Ideally, the recognition rate should measure the success of asylum applications lodged. However, information on applications and their outcomes – in the form of decisions – is not directly linked in the Eurostat dataset (nor in the EASO EPS dataset). For the most part, decisions are not necessarily issued in the same reference period as applications are lodged, resulting in separate indicators for applications and decisions in each reference period.

For this reason, the recognition rate is in most cases defined as a measure of successful decisions issued: the number of positive outcomes relative to the total number of decisions issued.

This definition should, however, be further analysed to also clarify which types of protection are included, and which stage of the asylum procedure is taken into account, as a minimum.  For the present analysis, the total recognition rate is calculated considering refugee status, subsidiary protection and national protection schemes under the collective name humanitarian protection as positive decisions. First instance is also taken into account separately from second and higher instance.  This recognition rate is defined by Eurostat as ‘the share of positive decisions in the total number of asylum decisions for each stage of the asylum procedure’ (i.e. first instance and final on appeal).  The total number of decisions consists of the sum of positive and negative decisions 124

Overall EU+ recognition rates based on the type of protection considered
Figure 15: The total EU+ recognition rate was seven percentage points higher
than the EU-regulated recognition rate 

The total EU+ recognition rate in first instance in 2018 was 39 %, decreasing by 7 percentage points from the previous year (Figure 15). For countries issuing at least 1 000 decisions in 2018, the highest recognition rate was in Switzerland (90 %) and Ireland (86 %). The lowest recognition rates were for decisions issued in the Czechia (11 %) and Poland (14 %). In all these four EU+ countries, humanitarian protection is applicable; as mentioned, most positive decisions in Switzerland granted humanitarian protection (52 % of all positive decisions). No conclusions can be drawn on the differences in the recognition rates between EU+ countries however, since the share of positive decisions depends on several factors, primarily the profiles and citizenships to which such decisions were issued. 


123 At the time of extraction, on 13 May 2019, information was available for all EU+ countries.
124 Eurostat, Glossary: Asylum recognition rate.