More than 300,000 asylum seekers, of whom one-third are Syrian, were granted protection status in 2018 by the 28 EU member states, the European Commission’s statistics agency Eurostat announced.
At 333,400, the total number of asylum applicants in 2018 is 40 pct lower than the 533,000 recorded in 2017, Eurostat said.
EU member-states also received 24,800 resettled refugees from non-EU countries.
Refugees and asylum seekers from Syria comprised the largest percentage of protection status beneficiaries, namely 29 percent, followed by Afghani refugees (16 percent) and Iraqi refugees (7 percent).
Greece granted protection status to 15,805 asylum seekers in 2018, while Germany was the EU country that approved the highest number of applications for protection status in 2018, to 139,600 beneficiaries, followed by Italy (47,900) and France (41,400).
In terms of approvals of protection status as a percentage of population, the EU granted asylum to 650 applicants per one million residents on average, ranging between just 10 per million population (Poland, Slovakia) and 2,345 per million population (Austria). Greece granted protection status to 1,470 people per one million residents in 2018.