The number of asylum applicants in Bulgaria increased by 55% on an annual basis in 2014, according to Eurostat data.
In 2014, the highest number of applicants was registered by far in Germany (202 700 applicants, or 32% of total applicants), followed by Sweden (81 200, or 13%), Italy (64 600, or 10%), France (62 800, or 10%) and Hungary (42 800, or 7%). The number of asylum applicants registered in the European Union (EU) increased by 191 000 (+44%) on an annual basis to reach a peak of 626 000 in 2014.
In particular, the number of Syrians rose by 72 000, from 50 000 in 2013 to almost 123 000 in 2014. The number of asylum applicants in 2014 more than doubled compared with 2013 in Italy (+143%) and Hungary (+126%) and increased significantly in Germany (+60%) and Sweden (+50%), while it decreased by 5% in France.
Syria (122 800 asylum applicants, or 20% of the total number of applicants) continued to be the main country of citizenship of asylum applicants. Of the 122 800 Syrians who applied for asylum in the EU in 2014, around 60% were registered in two Member States: Germany (41 100) and Sweden (30 800). Syrians represented also the main citizenship of asylum seekers in Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Austria, Romania and Slovenia. Afghanistan (41 300 asylum applicants, or 7% of the total number of applicants) became the second country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU in 2014. Of the 41 300 Afghans seeking asylum protection in the EU in 2014, 9 700 were registered in Germany and 8 800 in Hungary. With 37 900 applicants (or 6% of the EU total) in 2014, Kosovo completed the top 3 citizenships of asylum seekers in the EU, with more than half of them applying for asylum in Hungary (21 500).
In some Member States, at least half of the applicants came from a single country. This was the case in 2014 in Cyprus (57% of the applicants came from Syria), Bulgaria (56% from Syria), Hungary (50% from Kosovo) and Poland (50% from Russia).
In 2014 in the EU, 45% of first instance decisions made on asylum applications were positive (360 000 first instance decisions were taken in the 27 EU Member States for which data are available, of which 163 000 granted refugee status, subsidiary protection or authorization to stay for humanitarian reasons).
With 66 300 first instance decisions granting asylum protection status (or 41% of all first instance positive decisions), Syrians were the main recipients in the EU in 2014.