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EU+ countries receive over 1.1 mln asylum applications in 2023

 EU+ countries — the 27 EU member states plus Norway and Switzerland — received 1.14 million applications for international protection last year, reaching a seven-year high, according to a report issued by the Malta-based EU Agency for Asylum on Wednesday.

The agency said the number of applications was up by 18 percent over 2022, “a level reminiscent of the 2015-16 refugee crisis.”

According to the report, Syrians continued to lodge the most applications, with Afghans remaining the second. Applications from Syrians were up by 38 percent compared to 2022, while those from Afghans were down by 11 percent.

More Palestinians are lodging asylum applications in the EU+ countries, with the number of applications reaching nearly 11,600 in 2023, two-thirds higher than the previous year.

Cyprus was under the most pressure relative to its population size at 12,000 applications, or one application per 78 inhabitants.

Germany maintained its position as the foremost destination for asylum seekers in the EU+ countries, receiving 334,000, nearly a third of all applications lodged.

Famagusta Gazette