The EU asylum authority expects that the number of asylum seekers will continue to rise. The head of the authority, Nina Gregori, explains this in an interview. The signs are “pretty clear”.

The head of the EU asylum authority (EUAA), Nina Gregori, assumes that there will be a further increase in asylum seekers in the European Union. “It is quite clear that the increasing number of applications will continue in the foreseeable future,” Gregori told the Funke Mediengruppe newspapers. Instability and threats to human security are characteristics of today’s world. “Unfortunately, they are not temporary.”

Geopolitical developments in 2021 and 2022 would have a direct impact on the need for international protection and led to increased displacement to EU countries, Gregori said. Between January and October of this year, almost 790,000 asylum applications were made in the EU. This is an increase of 54 percent compared to the same period last year. However, the number remains below that of 2015 and 2016, Gregori added. According to the EU asylum authority, most asylum applicants come from Syria, Afghanistan and Turkey. The number of asylum seekers has also recently increased in Germany.

War refugees from Ukraine do not have to go through lengthy asylum procedures in the EU. They have been given temporary protection since shortly after the Russian invasion of Ukraine began. According to Gregori, 4.7 million people have been registered for it. The activation of the Temporary Protection Directive prevented the collapse of national European asylum systems, Gregori said. However, the millions of registrations put the European admissions systems under “considerable pressure”.

Gregori called for progress on the planned EU asylum and migration reform. She welcomes a declaration at EU level that structural solutions should be found before the 2024 European elections. “Progress on these issues will be important.”