Countries in the European Union and its associated countries received more than half a million asylum applications in the first half of 2023, marking a nearly 30 percent increase year on year, according to new data published on Sept. 4 by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA).
Data from EUAA show that applications for asylum in the 27-nation bloc and associated countries Switzerland and Norway rose to 519,000 between January to the end of June this year, marking an approximately 28 percent increase compared to the first half of 2022.
The latest figures follow a significant 53 percent increase year over year in 2022. EUAA said it anticipates applications could exceed 1 million by the end of 2023.
Those numbers do not include the approximately 4 million Ukrainians fleeing the Russian invasion who are currently hosted under temporary protection provisions.
“As a result of the increase, many EU+ countries are under pressure with processing applications and protecting those in need,” the agency said.