Asylum requests in the European Union

The figures on the number of asylum requests are taken from the United Nations High Commission for Refugees.

Comparing asylum requests between EU countries is subject to some limitations. Among other things because people who request asylum in a number of countries may be counted more than once.

Figures from Eurodac, for example, show that in 2005 about 17 percent of asylum requests referred to a person who had requested asylum in more than one country. Eurodac is an electronic database with fingerprints of all asylumseekers aged 14 years and older who submit an asylum request in an EU country (excluding Denmark), Norway or Iceland. 

Asylumseekers may request asylum is more than one country. This is the case in the Netherlands, for example, where in recent years the proportion of second and subsequent applications has increased substantially.

For the sake of readability, the terms asylumseekers and asylum requests are used with the synonymously in this article. Because an asylumseeker may submit more than one request, strictly speaking only the term asylum requests should be read.