Malta with seventh highest number of approved asylum applications in EU compared to population in 2018

A total of 660 asylum seekers were granted protection in Malta last year, representing a rate of 1,385 per million of the population.

EU member states granted protection to over 300,000 asylum seekers in 2018
EU member states granted protection to over 300,000 asylum seekers in 2018

Malta had the seventh highest number of positive decisions on asylum applications in the European Union last year when compared to its population, Eurostat data issued on Thursday shows.

EU member states granted protection to more than 300,000 asylum seekers in 2018, with Malta having approved 660 asylum applications, which would represent a portion of 1,385 per million of population.

Malta gave refugee status to 160 people, subsidiary protection to 480 persons, and 25 people were given authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons in 2018, the figures show.

With Malta having received a total of 1,500 requests for asylum, this represents a recognition rate of 43%. The average recognition rate in the EU and Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland is of 37%

Austria had the highest number of positive asylum applications in the EU compared to its population, with 20,700 approved applications, or 2,345 per million of population.

This was followed by Sweden, Germany, Luxembourg, Greece and Cyprus respectively.

Switzerland, which is not in the EU but is part of the single market, approved 15,550 applications, or 1,835 per million of population, which would rank it third compared to EU countries, pushing Malta to eight place in terms of positive asylum decisions.

Syrian citizens largest group of protection status beneficiaries

The 28 member states of the EU together with Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland granted protection status to nearly 333,400 asylum seekers in 2018, down by almost 40% from 2017, which had seen 533,000 asylum applications approved.

In addition to these, 24,800 resettled refugees were received. Malta, however, received no resettled refugees last year.

The largest group of beneficiaries of protection status in the EU in 2018 remained citizens of Syria, who, at 96,100, represented 29% of the total number of persons granted protection status. Of these, almost 70% of approved cases were recorded in Germany.

This was followed by citizens of Afghanistan, with 53,500 or 16% granted protection, and those of Iraq, with 24,600 or 7%.

In 2017, 172,900, or 32% of asylum seekers given protection were Syrians, 99,800, or 19% when Afghanis and 63,800 or 12% were Iraqis.

When it comes to Malta, the largest portion of those granted protection status in 2018 were Syrians, with 35%. This was followed by Libyans, with 34% and Eritreans, with 12%.

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