Approximately one million asylum seekers arrived to the EU at the peak of the refugee crisis back in 2015. At that time, there were numerous debates in the public as to whether or not these were "true" refugees or merely economic immigrants exploiting the weakness of European borders.

Now that its been at least three years since the 2015 asylum seekers arrived to Europe, are there any statistics as to the percentage of applicants who have been recognized as "true" refugees and granted full asylum rights?

1 Answer 1


The EU Directorate Eurostat collates and analyses statistics across the EU-28, including statistics on decisions on asylum applications. Unfortunately they don't seem to have processed results precisely in line with your question, but they have produced a series of quarterly reports which include statistics on the outcome of first applications, broken down by country of origin.

These appear somewhat variable, for example in the last quarter of 2015 87% of first applicants from Syria (representing over a third of first instance applications) were granted refugee status, with 11% granted subsidiary protection. Meanwhile 98% of applications from Albania (roughly a tenth of first instance applications) were rejected. Overall that quarter, somewhat less than half of first applicants from all countries were granted refugee status.

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