The past 30 years have seen several waves of asylum seekers from the post-Soviet region reaching the EU, including from the Central Asian (CA) and Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries. Their relatively small numbers resulted in limited attention by the research community. Yet, in 2018, asylum seekers from the two regions accounted for over 7% of all first-time asylum applicants in the EU. The extremely low recognition rate of asylum applications and the broad demographic profile among asylum seekers from the eight countries examined suggests that they actually abuse the EU asylum system to improve their socioeconomic situation. The witnessed mixed flows of forced and voluntary migration from the EaP and CA states challenge the efficiency of the EU asylum and international protection system. Several aspects deserve particular attention in this respect: the inclusion of the CA and EaP countries in the lists of safe countries of origin (SCO), resulting in accelerated asylum procedures; and the need for proper awareness-raising about regular migration channels to the EU MS.
The new Background Note 'Asylum seekers from the Eastern Partnership and Central Asian Countries in the EU' authored by Dr. Olga R. Gulina and released by the Prague Process Migration Observatory provides a statistical overview on the inflows, demographic indicators and recognition rates of asylum seekers coming to the European Union, focusing on eight countries of origin, located in the Eastern Partnership and Central Asia region: Moldova, Ukraine and Georgia, as well as Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Tajikistan. The document entails evidence on the socio-economic and political push factors behind these flows and the policy context they are embedded in. Particular attention is given to the classification of these countries as so-called ‘safe countries of origin’, in spite of the ongoing or frozen territorial conflicts suffered by some of them. Several conclusions and recommendations are drawn at the end.
To preview and download the Note please use this link.