Although at a slower pace, Albanians continue to seek asylum in one of the European Union countries.
The latest data from the European Union Asylum Agency (EUAA) show that in 2021, a total of 11.2 thousand people applied for asylum in Albania, 77% of whom applied for the first time.
Other Eurostat data show that compared to the previous year, when movement was limited due to the pandemic, asylum applications increased by 19%, but they still remain the lowest since 2013 (excluding the year pandemic).
The record for asylum applications continues to be held in 2015, with almost 69 thousand applications.
Despite the downward trend, in relation to the countries of the region, Albanians want to leave more than all other countries in the region.
Northern Macedonia, which is the second country on the list after us for asylum applications has about 5 thousand applications, or less than half of Albania. It is followed by Serbia with 3,200, Bosnia and Herzegovina with 2,500, Kosovo with about 2,300 and Montenegro with less than 500. Even in relation to the population, Albania holds the record, with 3.9 applications per 1000 inhabitants.
Albanians, the biggest applicants in Europe
EUAA writes that the largest group of European asylum seekers were Albanians (11,100), followed by Moldovans (7,700). Both filed about 70% more applications in 2021 than in 2020. Compared to 2020, a similar number of Ukrainians (6,300) sought asylum, but three times as many Belarusians (3,800) applied. A significantly stronger increase occurred only for the citizens of Northern Macedonia (5,000), whose applications quadrupled.
Applications in total
According to the EUAA, in 2021, applications for international protection in the EU + increased by a third, to 617,800, returning to pre-pandemic levels after a sharp decline in 2020. The level in 2021 was roughly similar to that in 2018, but still somewhat lower than in 2019. Although it cannot be ruled out that COVID-19 and movement-related restrictions still have an impact on asylum procedures, any such effect appears to have been significantly weaker than in the year 2020.
The overall increase in asylum claims in 2021 was driven mainly by Afghans and Syrians. Afghans filed twice as many applications (about 97,800) compared to 2020. After taking over Afghanistan from the Taliban, EU + countries received more than 10,000 Afghan applications each month since August, the highest level of all nationalities. others. Overall, however, in 2021, Syrians still filed slightly more applications (106,000) than Afghans, and almost two-thirds more than in 2020.
Iraqis were the third largest group of applicants in 2021 (about 28,700). While their applications have also increased significantly since 2020 (+ 58%), partly due to the new route of irregular migration through Belarus, they remained lower than in the years before 2020. Iraqis were followed by Pakistanis (24,600), Turks (23,700) and Bangladesh (20,000). For all three nationalities, applications were significantly higher than in 2020.