Saturday, April 16, 2022

Europe's Refugee Backlog

On the 4th March the European Union enacted a 'special protection system' which gives Ukrainian refugees near-automatic asylum. The system is designed to quickly provide residence & work permits for those fleeing the war in Ukraine. While this is obviously fantastic for anyone fleeing the atrocities and war crimes being carried out by the Russian army it may not be so great for refugees from elsewhere in the world, who even before the invasion of Ukraine were on average facing application delays of around 15 months.

On 31st December 2021 there were 761,060 pending asylum applications across the EU. Civio, a Spanish non-profit organization which monitors public bodies, has taken a closer look at the asylum application backlogs in countries across Europe. The interactive map in Europe welcomes Ukrainian refugees with an asylum system that averages more than 15 months of delay allows you to click on individual EU countries to view how many pending refugee applications there were on 31st December 2021. 

For example if you click on Ireland you can see that on the 31st December there were 6,565 pending refugee applications. This means on average, at the current processing rate, a refugee applying to live in Ireland will have to wait around 2.5 years before their application is even processed. Germany has a backlog of 19.2 months of applications. France has a backlog 14.7 months and in Spain the backlog is 17.4 months. 

When you click on an individual country on the map you can also view a graph showing the number of applications received in the country in each month and the number of pending applications in each month. These graphs show that in many European countries the backlog of refugee applications is growing larger and larger by the month.

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