The EASO Asylum Report 2020: The trusted source of information on asylum in Europe

With a record number of attendees, EASO successfully launched its flagship annual Asylum Report 2020 on 25 June 2020 through an online event which was livestreamed on Facebook.

The Report finds that there was an 11 % increase in the number of applications for international protection in EU+ countries in 2019. However, applications were not spread across Europe evenly, straining some asylum systems more than others. For example, countries such as Cyprus, France, Greece, Malta and Spain received more asylum applicants in 2019 than during the so-called ‘migration crisis’ of 2015.

Governments responded to changing asylum flows in various ways throughout the year, as detailed in the Report, which provides a comprehensive overview of developments in policies, practices and legislation. Efforts were made at the national level to reduce the backlog of pending cases, provide protection to unaccompanied minors, accelerate registrations, fact-track the return of rejected applicants, foster integration and expand accommodation place.

In the introductory address to the event, EU Commissioner for Home Affairs Ylva Johansson stated that EASO is a world class centre of knowledge and analysis on asylum, and that the Report provides the facts needed to find solutions and design policies. “EASO’s Asylum Report should be on every policy-maker’s desk”, she affirmed.

The Report serves as “a lens to measure challenges and successes in the Common European Asylum System”, the Chair of the EASO Management Board, David Costello, stated. He noted that EASO is working at the limit of its mandate and welcomed the upcoming transformation of the Agency into the new EU Asylum Agency to build on the momentum of the current activities.

Using over 700 reliable sources, the Report includes diverse perspectives from various stakeholders working in the field of asylum, including international organisations, civil society organisations, academia and researchers. Information is also drawn from the EASO Case Law Database and the EASO Early Warning and Preparedness System (EPS). The report features selected case law which interpreted how to apply European and national laws in the context of the EU asylum acquis. 

Any improvements or persisting deficiencies in national asylum procedures were amplified during the COVID-19 pandemic this year.
As such, countries which had invested in modernising and automating asylum procedures in 2019 were able to restart operations quickly by processing applications online and conducting interviews through videoconferencing. 
Nina Gregori
EASO Executive Director

The EASO Asylum Report 2020 is accompanied by various, user-friendly tools to provide a clear overview of asylum in 2019, including a new database which presents the main legislative, institutional and policy changes by country and theme. For further information, consult the following tools:

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