PRISTINA – Syrian refugees make up the largest number of asylum seekers in EU member states. Eurostat data revealed Kosovo citizens to come in second, Gazeta Express reports.

Illustration - Photo: Gazeta Express
Illustration – Photo: Gazeta Express

From January 2015 until the beginning of August, 66.045 Kosovo citizens applied for asylum in EU member states. The EU statistics show only the number of asylum seekers who have formally submitted asylum requests, leaving the option open that the number might actually be higher.

So far, more than 600 thousand immigrants formally applied for asylum in the EU. The number might be much higher, considering that not every immigrant submitted the application.

Eurostat data show that the highest chances for successful asylum application are to Syrian refugees, Eritrea or Iraq, and other that submit asylum applications in Bulgaria, Denmark or Malta.

EU laws specify that in general, immigrants must apply for asylum in their first country of entry, however, the majority only passes through the Southeastern countries, in order to reach their favorite destinations, Germany or Sweden. Both countries offer better conditions for immigrants, such as welfare and employment possibilities.

The highest number of immigrants come from Syria, while half of the general number of immigrants come from only five countries – Syria, Kosovo, Afghanistan, Albania and Iraq. 72% are men and 54% of the men are 18 to 34 years old.

The most preferable destination of immigrants is Germany, receiving 41% of all asylum applications in the EU. Hungary comes second with 16.3%.

Immigrants coming from war and conflict zone have the highest chances of being granted the asylum status, based on the decision taken in the first part of 2016 by the EU.

Balkans citizens seem not to have such luck. The region has been in a peaceful state since 2001. Asylum status was given to only 6.4% of Albanian citizens, compared to 1.9% Kosovo citizens, and 1.3% Serbian citizens.