April 19, 2018 / 10:08 AM / 6 months ago

EU gave asylum to more than half a million refugees in 2017 - stats office

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union gave asylum to more than half a million refugees in 2017, its statistics office Eurostat said on Thursday, with Germany taking in more than 60 percent.

FILE PHOTO - A migrant child walks at the sports hall of the Jane-Addams high school which has been transformed into a refugee shelter in Berlin's Hohenschoenhausen district, Germany, February 2, 2016 REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch/File Photo

The number was still down by about a quarter compared with 2016, and followed a major surge of migration in 2015 which has strained the bloc’s asylum system and caused political wrangling over how to deal with the influx.

Syrian citizens accounted for about a third of successful asylum cases in 2017, Eurostat said, followed by Afghans and Iraqis.

On a per capita basis, Germany had the most successful asylum cases in 2017, followed by Austria and Sweden. Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Poland had the fewest successful asylum cases in 2017 on a per capita basis.

Syrians and Eritreans were most likely to get asylum in the EU in 2017, with more than nine in 10 cases being approved, while migrants from Albania and Kosovo were the least likely.

Reporting by Robert-Jan Bartunek; Editing by Gareth Jones

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