According to the 2018 Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU+ published by the European Asylum Support Office (EASO),  last year asylum applications in the EU returned to pre-crisis levels in 2018.

The report on the situation of asylum in the EU shows how applications have decreased for the third consecutive year in 2018. The number of asylum requests received has returned to pre-crisis levels.

In 2018, a total of 664,480 applications for international protection were recorded in the EU, Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Liechtenstein. The overall trend of greatly reduced numbers has continued in 2019, despite an increase during the first 5 months of 2019.

With regard to receiving countries, in 2018, most applications for asylum were lodged in Germany, France, Greece, Italy, and Spain. Together, these five countries accounted for almost three quarters of all applications lodged in the EU+.

Malta was one of the top five receiving countries per capita, together with Cyprus, Greece, Sweden and Luxembourg.

Commissioner for Migration, Home Affairs and Citizenship, Dimitris Avramopoulos said, “The strong decrease in asylum applications in the EU is the result of our joint EU efforts on all fronts. We are now better managing our borders, we have put in place strongpartnerships with countries of origin and transit, and we have greatly increased our efforts to protect migrants along the road and fight the root causes of irregular migration. We have to continue our work together with a common European approach.” 

More information can be found in the press release issued by EASO.

The full Annual Report on the Situation of Asylum in the EU 2018 is available online.