Granted asylum requests dropped in EU in 2018


The European Union's statistics agency says more than 300,000 people were granted asylum within the bloc last year, a drop of almost 40 percent from 2017.

Eurostat said Thursday that around 333,400 people were deemed eligible for international protection, most of them Syrians, Afghans or Iraqis fleeing conflict or persecution.

The agency says 67,000 of the total 96,100 Syrians determined to be bona fide refugees across the 28-nation EU in 2018 were granted asylum in Germany.

Germany, Italy and France were the EU countries that recognized the most refugees.

Well over 1 million migrants entered the EU in 2015, a relatively small number compared to arrivals in Turkey, Jordan and Lebanon. However, the influx caused a political crisis and immigration became a hot-button topic.

EU countries remain deeply divided over the best approach despite the sharp drop in new arrivals. [AP]