In 2017, the 28 EU member states found that 538,000 asylum-seekers were eligible for protection status. In addition, the EU accepted almost 24,000 resettled refugees. This is according to data compiled by Eurostat, the statistical office of the European Union.
The largest group that was granted protection status in the EU in 2017 continued to be Syrian nationals (175,800 — or 33 percent of all persons granted protection status in the EU), followed by Afghan nationals (100,700 or 19 percent) and Iraq (64,300 or 12 percent).
The proportion of Syrian nationals gaining protected status has decreased since 2016, when they accounted for 57 percent of all positive decisions. Nevertheless, in 2017 they remained the largest group of people to be granted protection status across 18 member states. Out of the 175,800 Syrian nationals granted protection status in the EU, more than 70 percent were granted protection status in Germany (124,800).
Germany responsible for 60 percent of positive decisions
In 2017, the highest number of persons granted protected status was in Germany (325,400), followed by France (40,600), Italy (35,100), Austria (34,000) and Sweden (31,200).
Of those granted protection status in the EU, 271,600 were recognized as refugees, which accounted for 50 percent of all positive decisions. Subsidiary protection was granted to a further 189,000 applicants (35 percent) and 77,500 were granted a residence permit for humanitarian reasons (14 percent). It should be noted that both refugee status and subsidiary protection status are defined under EU law, while a residence permit is issued under domestic legislation for humanitarian reasons.
Almost 50 percent of first instance decisions have seen protection status granted
In 2017, there were over 970,000 first instance decisions on asylum applications, as well as 266,000 final decisions on appeal.
In first instance decisions nearly 443,000 people were granted protection status, while a further 95,000 people were granted protection status after a final decision on appeal.
Recognition rates vary greatly according to nationality
The share of positive decisions compared to the total number of asylum-seeker decisions was 46 percent in the first instance. In the case of final decisions on appeal, the proportion of positive decisions was 36 percent.