Political and social upheaval in the Arab region have lead to 7.6 thousand asylum applications in the first four months of this year in the countries of the European Union (EU), nearly twice as many as in the same period in 2010, when 4 thousand asylum applications were submitted. The number of asylum seekers did not increase in the Netherlands.
Few asylum seekers from Libya and other Arab countries
Surprisingly, the number of asylum seekers from Arab countries to the Netherlands diminished in the first four months of 2011 relative to the same period in 2010. Altogether, there were 150 asylum seekers from Arab countries, of whom half were Libyans. In the same period last year, 180 requests for asylum were submitted by people from the Arab region.
Asylum applications by people from the Arab region submitted in EU countries
Many Tunisians to Italy
Early 2011, many Tunisians came to Italy. Overall, more than 20 thousand Tunisians managed to reach Italy through the island of Lampedusa. Most of them were not registered as asylum seekers. In the first four months of this year, more than 2 thousand requests for asylum in Italy were submitted by Tunisians.
More asylum seekers to Germany and the United Kingdom
In Germany and the United Kingdom (UK), the number of requests for asylum by people from the Arab region also increased. The increase in Germany is predominantly due to asylum seekers from Syria and Tunisia, whereas asylum seekers from Libya seemed to prefer the UK.
Requests for asylum within the EU by country of origin
Half of applications submitted in Italy and Germany
Nearly 7.6 thousand asylum applications were submitted in the EU by people from the Arab region in the first four months of 2011. The main countries of origin of Arab people seeking asylum in EU countries are Tunisia, Syria and Libya. Half of requests were submitted in Italy and Germany.
Requests for asylum from Arab countries by country of destination, January-April 2011
John de Winter and Arno Sprangers