BRUSSELS 

EU member states granted protection to 295,800 asylum seekers in 2019, the EU’s statistical office announced on Monday.

According to the latest data released by Eurostat, the largest group of beneficiaries were Syrians with a share of 27% of the total number of positive decisions.

A total of 71% of the Syrians – 56,100 people – are hosted by Germany.

The second and the third biggest group of successful asylum seekers are from Afghanistan and Venezuela, representing 14% and 13% of the EU total respectively.

It is Germany who gave protection to most – 41% or 16,200 people – of Afghanis, while nearly all the Venezuelan – 94 % or 35,300 people – found a new home in Spain.

Venezuelan asylum seekers had the greatest chance to have their applications approved, since as many as 96% of their claims were accepted by first instance decisions.

The recognition rates for Syrians and Eritreans are 85% and 81% respectively.

Albanian and Georgian applicants had the lowest chance to get protection: 96% and 94% of their claims were rejected at first instance.

Over three quarters of the nearly 300,000 successful applicants were granted international protection by the four biggest EU states.

Fully 39% of all positive decisions in the EU were registered in Germany, followed by France (14%), Spain (13%) and Italy (10%).

Three percent of the total number of EU beneficiaries were Turkish citizens, with a relatively high recognition rate of 52%.

Turkish asylum seekers were the second-biggest group among successful applicants in the Netherlands and the third in Belgium, with 17% and 10%, respectively. 975 people were granted protection in the Netherlands, while 695 in its southern neighbor.

Most are assumed to belong to the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind the July 2016 defeated coup in Turkey, which left 251 people martyred and nearly 2,200 injured.

Turkish politicians have long criticized European countries for becoming a safe haven for FETO members, and demanded return of key FETO suspects and coup plotters to Turkey for a fair and transparent trial at home.

Ankara accuses FETO of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through infiltration into the Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.

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