The European Union faces a rapid increase in asylum applications in the first half of 2023. According to the latest figures released by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO), asylum applications in the EU have jumped by 28% compared to the first half of 2022.
The data reveals 519,000 asylum applications in the EU in the first half of 2023, compared to 406,642 in the same period last year. This marks the highest level of asylum requests in the EU since 2017.
The most significant increases in asylum applications were seen in Germany, France, and Italy. Germany received the highest number of applications, with 154,677, followed by France with 81,158 and Italy with 62,484. Germany, Spain and France also saw significant increases in asylum requests, with Germany receiving 30%, Spain 17%, and France 16%.
The central countries of origin for the asylum applications were Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and Turkey. The most applicants came from Syria, 66,615; Afghanistan, 55,021; Turkey, 34,025.
The increases in asylum requests have strained the EU's resources and capacity to process and accommodate these applicants. The EU is working to increase its ability to handle the influx of asylum requests. Still, it is challenging for the Member States to provide adequate housing and services to asylum seekers.
The surge in asylum applications is a consequence of the ongoing conflict in the Middle East and North Africa and the political and economic instability in countries such as Venezuela and Cuba. The EU is working to support refugees and asylum seekers in the region, but the influx of requests is putting a strain on the resources of Member States.
It is unclear how the EU will address the situation, but it is clear that the problem needs to be closely monitored and managed to ensure the safety and well-being of those seeking refuge in the EU.