After reaching about 1.3 million in 2015, the number of applications for international protection in the EU+ area (EU-27, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland) halved in 2017. The number decreased in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic, only to rebound the next year. The Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 and the ensuing humanitarian crisis triggered a new wave of refugees. While most of these refugees remained in the region, in 2021 about 100 000 Afghans lodged applications for international protection in the EU+ area. The overall number of applications reached 966 000 in 2022 – the highest since 2016. EU+ asylum authorities issued about 632 000 first instance decisions in 2022. By the end of 2022, there were 636 000 cases pending at first instance courts. This is the widest gap between decisions issued and applications since 2015.
Applications for international protection in the EU+ area (millions)
European Parliamentary Research Service
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