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European asylum statistics, first quarter 1999

Briefing notes

European asylum statistics, first quarter 1999

14 May 1999

With the Kosovo crisis, it was anticipated that the number of asylum applications in European countries might rise, However, we have now compiled our statistics for the first quarter of 1999, and these show that asylum applications in Europe actually decreased by about 20% in the first quarter of 1999, when compared with the last quarter of 1998. We have prepared statistics showing asylum applications in 21 European countries. In these countries there were 26,000 asylum applications during January, February and March of this year, as compared to 38,000 during the period October-December 1998. The decrease is mainly explained by a sharp decline (31%) in applications submitted by citizens of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (mainly Kosovo Albanians). During the first 3 months of 1999, two-thirds of all asylum applications were lodged in four countries: Germany (25% of all asylum applications), the United Kingdom (19%), Switzerland (13%) and Netherlands (10%).