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Germany and France become the focus

MeterThe number of immigrants in the previous year is Asylum seeker The figures in the European Union have dropped significantly-by one-third, reaching the lowest level since 2013. These two numbers are related to each other, although they are by no means the same. Although Frontex, the European Union’s border protection agency, reported 124,000 illegal border crossings, the European Asylum Office (EASO) recorded 485,000 asylum applications in its new annual report.

Thomas Guccik

Political journalist based in Brussels for the EU, NATO and Benelux countries.

On the one hand, it shows the number of unreported cases of people who were not registered at the external border. On the other hand, immigrants must not only submit an application in the country of arrival in accordance with EU asylum laws, but also in the country of their choice. For most people, it was Germany and France again last year. Even under corona conditions, this trend of secondary migration continues.

In fact, two-thirds of applications came from these two countries and Spain. On the other hand, Spain does not belong to the top group because it is so close to North Africa. In fact, as in 2019, most asylum seekers entered the country legally by air from Venezuela and Colombia. Usually, they receive humanitarian protection.

Very different recognition rate

The main arrival countries, Greece and Italy, are already far behind the top three in asylum statistics; their share is only 8%, slightly less than 6%. This explains why Berlin and Paris rejected Italy’s request to take over immigration. Although the number of people arriving in Lampedusa has increased in recent weeks, the statistics speak for themselves: Italy allows most asylum-seekers to move north.

As the information about the so-called secondary migration shows, the impact has even increased due to the pandemic. According to EU asylum law, member states can transfer applicants who enter the country through another country-but only for the first six months after entry. Last year, the number of such repatriation applications fell as sharply as the number of asylum applications in general. However, the actual number of repatriations fell further, only half of the previous year. Responsible countries often advocate health restrictions. Especially Germany left more applicants.

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