Malta granted protection to 435 asylum seekers, seventh highest rate in EU on per capita basis

The EU’s three smallest countries, including Malta, were among the top seven countries to grant protection to asylum seekers in 2019 when compared to population size, Eurostat figures show

435 asylum seekers were granted protection status in Malta last year
435 asylum seekers were granted protection status in Malta last year

Malta granted 435 asylum seekers some form of protection last year, with the largest group being Syrians, followed by Libyans and Eritreans, figures out today show.

The Eurostat figures also reveal that when the number of asylum seekers granted protection is compared to population size, Malta had the seventh highest rate in the EU.

Indeed, the statistics show that the EU’s three smallest countries – Malta, Cyprus and Luxembourg – were among the top seven member states with the highest rates of asylum approvals on a population basis.

Two-thirds of those granted protection are Syrian

The majority of asylum seekers in Malta were given temporary protection status (360), followed by refugee status (55) and protection on humanitarian grounds (15).

Two-thirds of people granted protection in Malta were Syrian (285 people, 66%), followed by Libyans (75 people, 17%), and Eritreans (25 people, 6%).

Malta processed 1,040 applications for protection, of which 39% (405 people) were approved on first instance. Another 30 were granted protection on appeal.

EU grants less protection status

The EU-wide figures show that the bloc granted protection to almost 300,000 asylum seekers in 2019, 27% of which were Syrians

The number of persons granted protection status was 6% less than 2018.

The largest group of beneficiaries of protection status in the EU in 2019 remained Syrians, followed by Afghans (14%) and Venezuelans (13%). The number of Venezuelans rose by nearly 40 times in 2019 compared with 2018.

In 2019, the highest number of persons granted protection status was registered in Germany (116,200 or 39% of all positive decisions), ahead of France (42,100 or 14%), Spain (38,500 or 13%) and Italy (31,000 or 10%). These four member states counted together over three quarters of all positive decisions issued in the EU.

When population size is taken into account, on a per million population basis, Greece emerged top with 1,735 positive decision, followed by Austria (1,550) and Cyprus (1,500). Germany came in fourth with 1,400 positive decisions per million population, followed by Sweden (1,150). Luxembourg and Malta came in sixth and seventh with 1,090 and 880 respectively.