In the second trimester of 2021, a reported 103,895 people filed for the first time a request for international protection in an EU country. This marked a 115% increase on the second trimester of 2020 and a 9% rise compared to the first trimester of 2021, Eurostat has said.
In the second trimester of 2021, a reported 103,895 people presented for the first time an asylum request in EU countries, up 115% on the second trimester of 2020 (when 48,370 were registered), and 9% more compared to the first trimester of 2021 (95,265), Eurostat reported on Friday (September 24).
The number however remained below pre-pandemic levels: Asylum applications went down 28% compared to the second trimester of 2019, Eurostat said.
In the second trimester of 2021, compared to the first, subsequent requests for international protection -- which were filed after an application had been rejected -- went down, the European statistical agency said. There were 13,805, down from 28,150 in the previous trimester.
Syria, Afghanistan and Pakistan the main nationalities
According to Eurostat, in the second trimester of this year, Syrians represented the largest group of asylum seekers filing a request for the first time, totaling 20,640. They were followed by Afghans (13,860) and Pakistanis (4,430). All three citizenships registered an increase compared to the first trimester of 2021 (respectively 8%, 28% and 16%) and the second trimester of 2020 (respectively 148%, 216% and 183%).
The number of applications presented by Syrians and Afghans in the second trimester of 2021 also exceeded pre-pandemic levels observed in the second trimester of 2019 (respectively up 28% and 38%), while the number of Pakistanis went down 17%.
Citizens from these countries represented over one-third (37%) of all first-time asylum applicants in the second trimester of 2021.
Highest number of requests in Germany, France and Spain
The highest number of asylum applications filed for the first time were registered in the second trimester of 2021 in Germany (29,545), followed by France (22,015) and Spain (12,335).
These three member States registered 61% of all first-time asylum applications in the EU in the second trimester of 2021.
During this period, 4,240 unaccompanied minors presented asylum applications, up 19% compared to the first quarter of 2021, when 3,555 were reported. In the second trimester of the year, the majority of unaccompanied minors filed asylum requests in Belgium (620), Austria (615), Germany (610) and Bulgaria (555).
The Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia and Malta did not record any asylum application presented by unaccompanied minors during that period.