The European Asylum Support Office have released their annual report covering 2017. The report aims to provide “a comprehensive overview of the situation of asylum in the EU (including information on Norway, Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Iceland), describing and analysing flows of applicants for international protection, major developments in legislation, jurisprudence, and policies at the EU+ and national level and reporting on the practical functioning of the Common European Asylum System (CEAS). As part of the Report, EASO also indicates its activities undertaken in 2017 in respective thematic areas.”
In addition to covering EU-level policy developments and Court of Justice rulings related to asylum, the report features some interesting statistics.
For example, as the mandatory resettlement scheme providing for the relocation of people seeking asylum across EU countries closed in September 2017, only 34,558 people were relocated (all from Italy and Greece), compared to the 160,000 initially envisioned.
For the first time in several years, at the end of 2017 the stock of pending cases was reduced compared to the year before, while approximately 954 100 applications were awaiting a final decision in the EU+, 16% fewer than at the same time in 2016. At the end of 2017, just half of all pending cases were awaiting a decision at first instance, whereas an increasing proportion were pending at second or higher instance, which is a new phenomenon. The number of cases awaiting decision at second and higher instance almost doubled since the end of 2016, pointing to the transfer of workload in national systems from the first instance to the appeal and review stage.