In 2014, the number of asylum seekers in the European Union increased by more than 40 percent relative to 2013. In the Netherlands, nearly 22 thousand people submitted requests for asylum, more than twice as many as in 2013.
Largest inflow since 1992
Last year, 562 thousand asylum seekers arrived in EU member states, i.e. an increase by more than 40 percent relative to 2013, when 391 thousand requests for asylum were submitted. Since 1992 - when 679 thousand asylum seekers came to the EU - the inflow into the EU has not been this high. In 1992, Germany alone admitted 438 thousand asylum seekers.
One third of asylum applicants destined for Germany
One third of people who submitted requests for asylum in the European Union went to Germany. With 75 thousand, Sweden was also a popular destination. In Germany, Sweden, Italy, Hungary and the Netherlands, the number of asylum seekers rose rapidly. Among them were many Syrians who travelled to Europe through Italy. In France and the United Kingdom, numbers were virtually the same as in 2013.
With 78 in every ten thousand residents, Sweden admitted most asylum seekers, followed at a distance by Hungary and Austria. The ratio for the Netherlands was 13 per ten thousand residents; the ratio for the European Union as a whole was 11.
Many asylum seekers from Syria and Kosovo
The ongoing war in Syria is the one of the reasons for the increase in asylum seekers in the EU and the Netherlands. Over 117 thousand Syrians - more than from any other country - applied for asylum in the EU. Last year, 8.7 thousand Syrian refugees came to the Netherlands.
At the end of 2014, the number of Kosovars who fled their country to apply for asylum in Hungary, Germany and Austria also increased following a relaxation of travel rules by Serbia making it easier for Kosovars to reach the EU. Presumably, political turmoil and a high unemployment rate also contribute to the surge in Kosovars leaving their country.