The European Union has made it clear for quite some time now that Albania is a safe country of origin and as such, asylum applications being made to the member countries from its citizens, will be rejected. But, Albanians do not seem to be very impressed by this, because they still continue to apply for asylum in EU member countries. Such phenomenon is also confirmed by the latest data issued by the European Institute of Statistics (EUROSTAT), according to which, Albanian nationals are first amid other countries in the old continent in terms of the number of asylum seekers. So, according to the figures supplied by Eurostat, during 2017, the total number of Albanian nationals who have applied for asylum for the first time in EU member countries is 22 thousand. This is a dropping figure if it is compared to 2016, when this number was 29 thousand. However, it shows that the trend of seeking asylum in EU member countries continues to be present. Meanwhile, based on the figures supplied by Eurostat, Albania is positioned alongside countries which are going through serious conflicts, even armed ones, forcing their nationals to undertake such step. In other words, by seeking asylum in EU member countries, Albanian nationals include themselves in the same category of people coming from war zones such as Syrians, Afghans, etc; although they live inside Europe and their country is pretending to soon join the European family. According to the numbers, out of 650.000 people who sought asylum last year in the EU member countries, Syrians were on the top of the list with 102.400 applicants who applied for the first time, followed by Iraqis with 47.500 and Afghans with 43.600. Then come Albanians who amount to almost half in number.
Europe is applying tighter measures, asylum seeking is falling
The tighter measures that European Union member countries are putting in place in terms of asylum seeking, has led to the number of asylum seekers to fall from one year to another. So, according to Eurostat, in 2016, the total number of people seeking asylum within EU borders was 1.206.500. This figure is twice as high as last year’s figure, indicating that the trend of asylum seeking in the EU is falling. But this doesn’t mean that it is stopping, so much so for Albanians, because last year, almost 1% of the total population of the country decided to undertake such incentive.
In France, Albanians on the top of the asylum list
There’s one country in Europe where Albanians are at the top of the list of those who seek asylum. This country is France. So, according to the figures, last year, the number of Albanians who sought asylum in France was 11 thousand and 395. This is a figure which is almost half of the total of Albanians who have applied for asylum in the EU member countries, namely 22 thousand. Meanwhile, as far as the total number of asylum applications made in the EU is concerned, the first country with the most applications is Germany. During 2017, the number of people who applied for asylum for the first in Germany was 198.300 or 31% of the total number of applicants.
INSTAT: Big difference between Albanians who are leaving and those who return
Meanwhile, the country’s agency for statistics, INSTAT, has confirmed the fact that many Albanians decide to leave the country and seek asylum in the EU member countries. According to this institution, the difference between those who leave and those who are repatriated, is big. INSTAT says that this difference became even greater in 2015, when there was an abnormally large number of people leaving the country, mainly in search of economic asylum. The difference between these entries and exists deepened in 2015 with 405 thousand people. Departures somehow fell in 2016, while the difference between entries and exits was 259 thousand people, but in 2017, it increased again to 373 thousand people. All of this points to an existing trend for Albanian nationals who leave the country to seek asylum.