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EU ASYLUM LAW: EU granted 500,000 people asylum protection in 2017

EU member states as well as Norway, Iceland and Switzerland granted protection status to 538,000 asylum seekers in 2017, according to new data released by Eurostat recently.

Another 24,000 refugees were resettled in the region last year.

Last year's asylum seeker figures represent a 25% drop from 2016, when 710,000 asylum seekers qualified for international protection in the bloc.

Two forms of protection are offered under EU law: refugee status — for people fleeing persecution, and subsidiary protection — for those who face serious harm if they return to their country of origin, and who don’t qualify as refugees. But protection may also be given for humanitarian reasons, such as on grounds of ill health or if the person is an unaccompanied minor.

Around a third of such asylum seekers in Europe came from Syria last year, followed by Afghan citizens (19%) and Iraqis (12%).

Note EU-Digest:The Eurostat figures in this report are not very clear. 

According to the data listed in this re, a third (33.%) of asylum seekers come from Syria, followed by Afghanistan with 19% and Iraq with 12%. Added together 64%. 

Where do the rest of the asylum seekers (36%) come from? 

Probably a large number of them from Africa, who come to Libya by illegal means to make the crossing to Europe. In our  opinion, these are mainly "economic migrants" and not asylum seekers, just as most of them from Afghanistan and Iraq. It is also striking that many of the asylum seekers are young and able men . The EU and the governments of the Member States must, as far as their migrants and asylum policies are concerned do a far better job, Right now it can only be qualified as being barely functional.

READ MORE: EU granted 500,000 people asylum protection in 2017 | Euronews

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