News Published: 20 October 2023
Some 100,000 asylum applications lodged across Europe in August 2023
In August 2023, applications for asylum increased to 100 000, which is an increase of one fifth (18 %) compared to August 2022. This figure is higher than the average number of monthly applications lodged in the EU+ so far this year.
Analysis released by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA) suggests that EU+ asylum authorities remain under pressure from a high level of protection needs. As has been the case for several years, Europe’s international protection landscape has been dominated by Syrians and Afghans, who continued to lodge the most applications for asylum in August (18 000 and 11 000, respectively). Indeed, Syrians lodged significantly more applications than this time last year (a 53 % increase), while Afghan applications remained relatively stable. Taken together, these two citizenships accounted for more than a quarter of all applications.
Persistent strain on national systems from both asylum seekers and beneficiaries of temporary protection
In August 2023, Germany maintained its position among EU+ countries as the foremost destination for asylum seekers, receiving around 30 000 applications (30 % of the total). France and Spain recorded approximately 13 000 and 12 000 applications respectively, while Italy received approximately 10 000 applications. Taken together, these four countries received two thirds of all applications lodged.
Evaluating which EU+ countries receive the most applications for asylum is important, but not always a reliable indicator of the pressure on Member States. EU+ countries vary significantly in terms of their size, population, and the administrative capacity of their asylum and reception systems. Cyprus, with its small population size of under a million (905 000), received just under 900 asylum applications in August 2023, or around 1 application per 1 000 inhabitants.
In addition to asylum applications, there were also 4.2 million persons benefiting from temporary protection in EU + countries as a consequence of the Russian invasion of Ukraine. Half of all beneficiaries of temporary protection were either in Germany (1.1 million) or Poland (950 000), while per capita, Czechia hosted about 35 beneficiaries per 1 000 inhabitants, followed by Estonia (27), and Lithuania (26).
Slight increase in recognition rate and accumulating first instance caseload
In August 2023, the recognition rate stood at 44 %, slightly increased from the previous month but consistent with the overall trend over the last year in terms of the numbers of decisions granting either refugee status or subsidiary protection.
The EUAA estimates that at the end of the month, there were around 720 000 cases awaiting a decision at first instance in EU+ countries. In general, citizenships lodging the most applications also tend to have the most pending cases. Indeed, Syrians (96 000) and Afghans (73 000) had the largest share of pending cases, respectively, in August.
For more information and interactive data visualisations, please visit the