An image of people rescued by the Sea-Watch 3, a migrant rescue ship in the Mediterranean run by an activist group, published on 10 May 2019. Photo credit: Sea-Watch
The number of first time asylum applications in the EU rose by double digits during the first four months of the year compared to 2017, although the number slowed in April.
The European Asylum Support Office recorded 206,500 applications between January 2019 and April 2019, compared to 179,000 during the same period in 2018.
Both figures are below the claims documented in 2017 (220,730) and 2016 (413,685).
The EASO, based in Malta, facilities cooperation among the asylum programmes of the EU28 member states, Norway and Switzerland, a bloc it calls the “EU+”.
A spokesperson for the EASO told Delano via email on Tuesday:
“I would note that the 15% rise in applications in the first four months of this year, when compared to the same period last year, should be taken within the context of the dramatic fall in applications over the past few years. Indeed, 2018 saw the number of applications return to pre-crisis levels and there is no indication at this stage that the increase in the first four months of the year constitute a significant shift in trends. It is normal to have monthly fluctuations. Indeed, the number of applications in April was lower than in March.”