First-time asylum registration in EU rises 12% in 2019

Asylum seekers applying for international protection in the EU member states soared 12% year-on-year in 2019, according to Eurostat on Friday.

The 27-member bloc saw a total of 612,700 first-time asylum seeker registrations last year, up from 549,000 previous year.

Syrians (74,400), Afghans (52,500) and Venezuelans (44,800) continued to be the main nationalities seeking protection in the EU, accounting for 28% of all first-time applicants.

"While the number of applicants from Syria decreased compared to 2018 (-7%, or 5 700), the number of Afghans and Venezuelans increased by 35% (13 600) and 102% (22 600) respectively," the bloc's statistical office said.

Germany was the first choice with receiving one in four first-time applicants in the bloc (142,400) last year. It was followed by France (119,900) and Spain (115,200).

Source: Anadolu Agency