A 69-percent fall month on month in the number of applicants seeking asylum in the European Union (EU) in the second quarter of 2020 has been attributed to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Eurostat, the EU’s statistics organization said Tuesday.
Some 46,500 first-time asylum seekers applied for international protection in the EU member states in Q2 of 2020, according to Eurostat.
The latest figure is a 69-percent drop from the first quarter this year, when there were 150,100 applications, and a 68-percent decrease compared to the second quarter of 2019, when the number was 143,700.
“This sharp drop in asylum applications in Q2, 2020 in particular results from the COVID-19 emergency measures applied by the Member States starting from March 2020,” a Eurostat press release said.
According to Eurostat, most first-time applicants seeking international protection in EU member states came from Syria, Afghanistan and Venezuela, which registered 7,700, 4,200, and 3,000 applications, respectively.
In addition, the latest figures revealed that the most favored destinations accounting for 65 percent of all first-time applicants seeking asylum in Q2 were Germany, France and Spain, which received 14,200, 8,900 and 7,200 applications, respectively.
Furthermore, pending applications for asylum had fallen to 842,000 at the end of June 2020, a decrease of 9 percent compared with both June 2019 and March 2020.