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Asylum applications in the EU surged to 435k last year

Ireland received just 0.2 per cent of these.

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Click here to view a large version. (Image Credit: Eurostat)

THE NUMBER OF people seeking asylum in the European Union increased by more than 30 per cent last year, figures published today from Eurostat show.

435,000 applications for asylum were received in 2013, compared to 335,000 in 2012.

A total of 50,470 of these came from Syria, the largest amount from any country.

The second and third largest groups were Russia (41,270) and Afghanistan (26,290).

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Click here to view a larger version. (Image Credit: Eurostat)

Five EU states accounted for 70 per cent of applications.

  • Germany – 127,000/29 per cent
  • France – 65,000/13 per cent
  • Sweden – 54,000 / 13 per cent
  • United Kingdom – 30,000 / 7 per cent
  • Italy 28,000 / 6 per cent

Ireland received 920 applications, making up 0.2 per cent of the total.

130 of these were from Nigeria, 95 from Pakistan, and 70 from Zimbabwe.

Of the 840 first instance decisions* made last year, 82 per cent were rejected.

None were granted asylum for humanitarian reasons.

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*It should be noted that first instance decisions made in 2013 may refer to applications registered in previous years.

Read: How a doctor had his asylum request rejected because someone ‘didn’t like him’ >

More: Snowden offers Brazil help in investigating spying in exchange for asylum >

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Nicky Ryan

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