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Asylum applications down 61 per cent in May

Pournara 01
File photo: (Christos Theodorides)

The number of new asylum applications in Cyprus in May was down 61 per cent compared to the same months last year, according to the European Union’s statistical agency Eurostat.

In contrast, the EU at large saw an increase of 27 per cent in the same month compared to May 2022.

In raw figures, that translates to a total of 1,005 new asylum applications filed in Cyprus in May this year and 80,375 filed across the EU’s 27 member states. Those applications included 3,065 unaccompanied minors.

Additionally, there were 5,325 filings of appeals against asylum rejections and asylum applications filed by people who had previously applied across the EU in May. No such data exists in Cyprus, which joins Denmark and Sweden as the three member states which do not record these figures.

Cyprus was proportionally the largest receiver of asylum applicants in May, receiving 1,092 applicants per million inhabitants. Austria was the second largest, at 448 applications per million inhabitants, while Hungary recorded the lowest rate at just 0.2 applications per million inhabitants.

Germany received the most applicants as an overall figure, with 23,235 people applying for asylum in the country in May. Spain received the second-most with 17,405, while Italy received 11,045 applications and France 10,850.

Applications to those four countries constitute 78 per cent of all applications submitted in the EU in May.

Syrians were the largest contributing nationality of people seeking asylum in the EU in May 2023, with 12,110 Syrian first time applicants.

The second-largest contributing nationality was Afghans, with 7,210 applicants, with Venezuelans and Colombians also contributing large numbers of asylum applicants, with 7,015 and 6,745 respectively.

A total of 1,435 Russian nationals also applied for asylum in May.

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