Migrants: Italy out of five top host countries, EU

25 June, 16:42

    (ANSAmed) - BRUSSELS, JUNE 25 - Asylum requests in the EU are rising for the first time since 2015 - 740,000 in 2019, up 11% on 2018, according to the annual report released by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO). However, for the first time in five years, Italy is not among the top five host countries, according to the report. Over half of applications were filed in Germany (165,615), France (128,940) and Spain (117,795).

    Greece had 77,275 requests, followed by the United Kingdom (44,835 applications received), which replaced Italy (43,770, down 27% compared to 2018).

    With a significant drop of irregular migration along the central Mediterranean route, the increase in requests for international protection - observed EASO - is partly due to the boom of requests presented by citizens of Venezuela and other Latin American countries. Venezuelans, with 46,000 applications, ranked third among nationalities that presented applications (+103% on the previous year). Syrians came first (80,000 requests), followed by Afghans (61,000).

    Difficult political conditions in Venezuela and South America caused a boom in applications filed in Spain, which increased by over 100% compared to 2018, because ''often the language and cultural relations can play a role in the choice of country in which a request is filed'', the agency observed.

    Among migration trends, EASO moreover reported that over one-fourth of overall requests (188,500) were presented by citizens of countries that did not have a visa requirement in the Schengen area as is the case of western Balkan and eastern partnership countries like Ukraine. (ANSAmed)..

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