FECL 49 (December 1996/January 1997):
The number of asylum applications in Western Europe is falling, according to the EU Office of Statistics, Eurostat.
In the first half of 1996 a total of 107,144 persons applied for asylum in the EU member states, Norway and Switzerland. This is 12 per cent less than in the same period in 1995.
The number of asylum applications in Western Europe has been declining since 1993. The most significant decreases were reported in Italy (-63 per cent), Sweden (-43 per cent) and the UK (-25 cent).
More than half of all applications (57,500) were filed in Germany. With an approximate 15,000 applications in the first six months of 1996, Great Britain was the second country of destination. France ranked fifth, behind Switzerland.
Refugees from the former Yugoslavia formed the largest group of asylum seekers in Europe.
Source: Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 21.1.96.