Italy: Nearly 136,000 asylum requests filed in 2023

Rome: The Italian Refugee Council (CIR) said 135,820 requests for international protection had been filed in 2023 in Italy – a third of the number of applications witnessed in Germany the same year.

In 2023, the European Union saw the highest numbers of asylum requests being filed in the 27 member states since 2018. According to a new report by the Italian Refugee Council (CIR), a total of 1,129,640 international protection applications were recorded in the bloc last year.

The document highlights the numbers of requests in frontline EU member states as follows: Italy: 135,820, France: 166,880, Spain: 162,420, Germany: 351,510.

According to the data, Italy thus registered a little over a third (38.5%) of the number of asylum requests presented in Germany, CIR noted.

CIR added that the Italian asylum system had examined 41,415 asylum applications in 2023, with 49.8% being rejected, 11.9% of applicants being recognized as refugees, and 14.9% benefitting from subsidiary protection status. Additionally, 23.4% obtained special protection status.

Meanwhile, a total of 157,652 people reached Italy by sea, according to the report, while official numbers state that 2,476 individuals were recorded as dead or missing in the central Mediterranean Sea, which continues to be the deadliest migration route worldwide.

CIR President, Roberto Zaccaria commented that this reflected the fact that “the emergency is not in the number of those arriving and seeking protection — although they are rising — but in the lack of adequate responses in terms of protected access, hosting, integration, assisted voluntary return and rescue at sea – or in all those tools that would make the management of this phenomenon adequate for its complexity and the respect of the rights of these people.”
Zaccaria also slammed the Italian government for a hostile attitude towards migration by “issuing four decrees in just over a year” in what he described as a form of “legislative bulimia on immigration.”