Cyprus granted protection status to 1,300 asylum seekers last year

Cyprus granted protection status to 1,300 asylum seekers last year

The 28 Member States of the European Union granted protection status to 538,000 asylum seekers in 2017, down by almost 25 percent, according to Eurostat.

Cyprus granted protection status to 1,005 Syrians (78 percent) to 75 Somalians (6 percent) and 50 Iraqis (4 percent) – the island's contribution was 0.24 percent of the total granted protection in the bloc.

EU Member States also received nearly 24,000 resettled refugees.

The largest group of beneficiaries of protection status remained citizens of Syria (175,800, or 33 percent of the total granted protection status), followed by citizens of Afghanistan (100,700 or 19 percent) and those of Iraq (64,300 or 12 percent).

The number of decisions granting protection status to Syrian citizens has dropped since 2016 (when they accounted for 57 percent) however, they remained the largest group granted protection status in 18 Member States.

Of the 175,800 Syrian citizens granted protection status in the EU, more than 70 percent received protection status in Germany (124,800).

In 2017, the highest number of persons granted protection status was registered in Germany (325,400), ahead of France (40,600), Italy (35,100), Austria (34,000) and Sweden (31,200).

Out of all the persons who were granted protection status in 2017 in the EU, 271 600 persons were granted refugee status (50 percent of all positive decisions), 189,000 were given subsidiary protection (35 percent) and 77 500 authorisation to stay for humanitarian reasons (14 percent).

It should be noted that, while both refugee and subsidiary protection status are defined by EU law, humanitarian status is granted only on the basis of national legislation.

Cyprus gave 1,300 positive decisions on asylum applications (1,520 per 1 million inhabitants), 235 for refugee status and 1,065 for subsidiary protection.

In 2017 more than 970,000 first instance decisions on asylum applications were made in the EU and a further 266,000 final decisions following an appeal.

Decisions made at the first instance resulted in almost 443,000 persons being granted protection status, while a further 95,000 received protection status on appeal.

The rate of recognition, (the share of positive decisions in the total number of decisions), was 46 percent for first instance decisions in the EU. For final decisions on appeal, the recognition rate was 36 percent.

The outcomes of decisions on asylum applications, and therefore the recognition rate, vary between countries of citizenship of asylum applicants.

Among the 20 main citizenships of asylum applicants on which decisions were taken at first instance, recognition rates in the EU ranged from around 5 percent for citizens of Albania to 94 percent for Syria and 92 percent for Eritrea.

The share of positive decisions in the total number of decisions in Cyprus was 51 percent (1,245 out of 2,450). Another 55 positive decisions, or 15 percent of total, came as a result of appeal (out of 355 petitions).

[Kathimerini Cyprus]

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