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Across EU+ countries, there were large and persistent differences in granting protection to applicants from specific countries of origin among the top 10 citizenships. With bubble sizes indicating the number of decisions, Figure 4.22 shows the different recognition rates that applicants from the specified origin country received in EU+ countries. For example, the recognition rate for Syrians was at least 57% in most countries that issued many decisions (more than 300) to Syrian applicants, but it was only 35% in Spain. Similarly, the recognition rate for nationals of Turkey was above 40%, except in France (16%) and Greece (11%). 


  Recognition rates can vary widely depending on the receiving country   

Figure 4.22. Recognition rates for nationalities receiving the highest number of decisions at first instance, by receiving country, 2020


Note: Each bubble represents a different EU+ country issuing more than 300 first instance decisions in 2020 for the selected nationality. The bubble size indicates the number of first instance decisions issued and the placement on the vertical axis denotes the recognition rate. The 10 nationalities presented received the highest number of first instance decisions in 2020. 
Source: Eurostat [migr_asyappctzm] as of 28 April 2021.

Conversely, the recognition rate for Iranians was typically below 50%, except in Switzerland (89%). Likewise, the rate for Nigerians hardly exceeded 10%, except in Italy (30%). In fact, recognition rates in Italy were at the upper-end of the range for many citizenships, including nationals of Afghanistan, Colombia, Iraq, Nigeria, Somalia and Venezuela. Overall, discrepancies in recognition rates were most apparent for Afghans (from 1% in Bulgaria to 98% in Switzerland,lxi Turks (from 11% in Greece to 96% in Switzerland), and Venezuelans (from 23% in Belgium to 98% in Spain). 

A number of factors likely contribute to the differences in recognition rates across receiving countries for the same nationality. Applicants can have significantly different profiles, for example in terms of the exact region of origin. Within countries such as Afghanistan, the security situation varies considerably from one region to another. Recognition rates may differ between first-time and repeated applications lodged by the same nationality. Similarly, some applicants may have already received an EU protection status in another Member State, as has been noted for example for Syrians applying in Belgium. As these applications are found to be inadmissible, a comparatively low recognition rate results for Syrians in Belgium. Another possible factor behind differences in recognition rates are diverging national policies and guidelines on asylum, in addition to the interpretation of certain legal concepts. In particular, receiving countries can have different lists of safe countries of origin and safe third countries or assess internal protection alternatives and the level of indiscriminate violence differently, which can impact eligibility for subsidiary protection.



[lxi] Most decisions for Afghan nationals in Switzerland grant temporary humanitarian status.