Asylum in Europe in 2016

On 5 July, the European Asylum Support Office presented its 2016 report at a conference in Brussels. For the occasion, refugees and asylum seekers came to speak about their experiences.

Every year, the European Asylum Support Office (EASO) publishes a report presenting the major trends of asylum in Europe: statistics, new developments, etc. 2016 was marked by a reinforced asylum policy, as could be seen in the fight against illegal migration (via the EU-Turkey Agreement, for example) and the transfer of asylum seekers within the EU (relocation).

Asylum in Europe: some figures

In 2016, 1.3 million applications for international protection were submitted in wider Europe, namely the European Union Member States and Norway, Switzerland, Iceland and Lichtenstein. A quarter of applications were made by Syrians. Germany is by far the country with the most applications.

The number of applications has slightly decreased compared to 2015, but the number of decisions made has increased by 21%. The rate of recognition of the refugee status progressed from 53 to 61% in 2016.

By comparison, Belgium recorded 18,710 asylum applications in 2016, but a record 22,207 decisions were made. The rate of recognition was about 57.7%.

Relocation Café

The EASO presented its annual report on Wednesday 5 July at a conference in Brussels. In the afternoon, the stakeholders and press were invited to a meeting on the theme of relocation, an extremely topical subject for Europe.

In the relaxed atmosphere of the "Relocation Café", participants met with Syrian and Iraqi refugees and asylum seekers who were there to speak about their experiences. After arriving in Europe, in particular in Greece, they were informed about the opportunities to apply for asylum in other European countries via the relocation procedure. In Belgium, they are, or were, welcomed in Fedasil reception centres during their asylum procedure.