More than 1400 Albanians sought asylum in EU Member States in August of 2021, a 46% increase compared to July and more than double that of June, according to EU data.
The figures were higher than in the months before the pandemic, including December 2019 and January and February 2020.
Out of August’s applications, 1,200 were first time applications and some 230 were re-applications. Albania holds the highest number of applications in the region, four times higher than the number two spot.
Almost a quarter of a million Albanians have sought asylum in an EU member state between 2008 and 2021, not including the UK.
Numbers decreased sightly in 2020, due to the pandemic, but since travel measures have somewhat reduced, the numbers have crept back up.
While Albania is considered a “safe place”, up to 10% of applications are accepted as founded. Furthermore, between 2008 and 2020, more than 700,000 Albanians received a residence permit in the EU.
Reducing asylum applications is a condition for the opening of the first intergovernmental conference which marks the official start of EU accession negotiations. A decision is expected in December following a series of rejections, despite the EC claiming all conditions have been met.
You can read an in-depth report on Albanian asylum here.