Last year 2,840 first time asylum seekers applied for international protection in Cyprus

In 2016 2,840 first time asylum seekers applied for international protection, marking a +35% increase since 2015 (2,105 applicants). That corresponds to a 0.2% share in the EU total, or to 3,350 applicants per million inhabitants (5th largest score in the EU), according to Eurostat.

Out of the 2,840 applicants in Cyprus, 1,165 came form Syria, or 41%, 225 form Somalia, or 8% and 205 from Pakistan, or 7%.

To the contrary, in 2016, 1 204 300 first time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the Member States of the European Union (EU), a number slightly down compared with 2015 (when 1 257 000 first time applicants were registered) but almost double that of 2014 (562 700). Syrians (334 800 first time applicants), Afghans (183 000) and Iraqis (127 000) remained the main citizenship of people seeking international protection in the EU Member States in 2016, accounting for slightly more than half of all first time applicants.

With 722 300 first time applicants registered in 2016, Germany recorded 60% of all first time applicants in the EU Member States. It was followed by Italy (121 200, or 10%), France (76 000, or 6%), Greece (49 900, or 4%), Austria (39 900, or 3%) and the United Kingdom (38 300, or 3%). Among Member States with more than 5 000 first time asylum seekers in 2016, numbers of first time applicants rose most compared with the previous year in Greece (38 500 more first time asylum seekers in 2016 than in 2015, or +339%), Germany (280 500 more, or +63%) and Italy (37 900 more, or +46%). In contrast, the largest decreases were recorded in the Nordic Member States – Sweden (-86%), Finland (-84%) and Denmark (-71%) – as well as in Hungary (-84%), Belgium (-63%), the Netherlands (-55%) and Austria (-53%).

Syria (28% of the total number of first time applicants) was again in 2016 the main country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU Member States, Afghanistan (15% of the total number of first time applicants) remained the second main country and Iraq was the third.

Source: Cyprus News Agency