The 28 European Union member states granted protection status to 333,350 asylum seekers in 2015, an increase of 72% compared with 2014, and Croatia was among the countries that approved the fewest applications for asylum, Eurostat said on Wednesday.
Half the number of asylum requests granted were recorded in Germany (148,200), followed by Sweden (34,500), Italy (29,600), France (26,000), the United Kingdom (17,900), Austria (17,800) and the Netherlands (17,000).
A total of 40 asylum requests were approved by Croatia, which places it at the bottom of the list in the EU, followed only by Latvia with 30 requests granted. Most of the beneficiaries of protection status granted in Croatia were from Turkey, Iraq and Azerbaijan.
The largest group of beneficiaries of protection status in the EU in 2015 remained citizens of Syria (166,100 persons, or 50% of the total number of persons granted protection status in the EU member states), followed by citizens of Eritrea (27,600 or 8%) and those of Iraq (23,700 or 7%).
Since 2008, nearly 1.1 million asylum seekers have been granted protection status in the EU.