NEWS - Archive March 2015

Headlines 27 March, 2015

Ireland: How many people in Ireland are gay?

What proportion of us are gay, lesbian or bisexual? according to The ‘Irish Times’ Family Values poll.

27/3/2015- Ireland has witnessed significant social change and sometimes dizzying levels of diversity in recent decades. Does that extend to a new willingness to talk about sexuality? And, more specifically, how comfortable are gays and lesbians about disclosing their sexual orientation? When the Irish Times/Ipsos MRBI Family Values poll asked people to describe their sexuality, one in 25 – or 4 per cent – of respondents described themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual. The real figure may well be higher, given that 10 per cent of people polled chose not to answer the question. (The margin of error on the 4 per cent statistic was 1.3 per cent.) The numbers may come as a surprise to some.

One reason is that a figure of 10 per cent for the proportion of homosexuals in the population has persisted as a widely accepted guesstimate. This number seems to have made its way into the public consciousness on foot of the Kinsey reports, two books – Sexual Behavior in the Human Male and Sexual Behavior in the Human Female – based on research led by Alfred Kinsey, a zoologist at Indiana University, in the late 1940s and early 1950s. Although the reports broke long-held taboos on reporting sexual orientation, Kinsey’s methodology has been strongly critised for over-representing the gay and lesbian population.

But using contemporary opinion polls as a reference, the 4 per cent figure in the Irish Times poll ranks towards the higher end of most surveys. In the UK, for example, a benchmark study by its Office for National Statistics estimated that just 1.5 per cent of people were gay, lesbian or bisexual. In Australia a national sample put the figure at 3 per cent; in the US the most widely cited national poll in recent years indicates that homosexuality rates are 3.5 per cent.

Sexual orientation
So the demographics of sexual orientation pose challenges for researchers. There is evidence to suggest that when sensitive questions are asked in person or over the phone, more people are likely to refuse to answer; anonymised or self-reported data tends to have a higher success rate. Then there’s the complex issue of identifica-tion. Just because a person has sexual experiences or attraction to a person of the same sex doesn’t mean they will identify themselves as gay or bisexual. That’s why health researchers seeking information on HIV, for example, survey “men who have sex with men” rather than gay men. On top of that, many members of the LGBT community continue to feel the need to conceal their sexual identity. “Despite all the transformative changes over last 20 years, we know about half of the community is still not fully open in the workplace,” says Brian Sheehan of the Gay & Lesbian Equality Network.

“They fear it will damage their prospects or they’re unsure of the reaction of colleagues. Or, outside of work, there are fears about physical or verbal harassment. So there are many valid reasons why people won’t declare their sexual orientation.” In our Family Values poll the 10 per cent who chose not to answer were more likely to be older; younger people were more likely to identify themselves as gay or bisexual. This suggests that younger people are more open to answering the question and that the real proportion of older people who are gay, lesbian or bisexual may be higher than reported. A survey by the youth-mental-health charity Headstrong would appear to back this up. In a recent survey of 8,000 young adults, aged between 17 and 25, a total of 8 per cent identified themselves as gay, lesbian or bisexual; 3 per cent said they weren’t sure. These findings weren’t based on a fully random sample, however.

Because of these discrepancies, policymakers tend to set figures on the estimated gay, lesbian and bisexual population. When the UK government was analysing the financial implications of civil partnerships, for example, it estimated the population to be about 6 per cent. Gay-rights groups, such as the Gay & Lesbian Equality Network in Ireland and Stonewall in the UK, accept that the real figure is likely to be somewhere in that region. What we know for sure is that people seem to be increasingly confident about identifying themselves as gay. The census doesn’t ask people if they are gay or lesbian. But data on cohabiting couples shows increasing numbers of self-declared same-sex couples over the past decade or so. The 2011 census found there were just more than 4,000 same-sex couples living together, a 95 per cent increase from the 2006 census. Since civil partnerships were introduce for gay couples, in April 2011, more than 3,000 people have entered legally binding unions.
© The Irish Times.

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Migrant job-seekers can be denied benefits, EU lawyer says

26/3/2015- European Union nations can deny benefits to EU migrants unless they have previously worked in their host country, the EU's top lawyer said on Thursday, in a case brought by Germany and keenly watched in Britain. Even actively seeking work is not enough of a justification to claim benefits at the same time, European Court of Justice Advocate General Melchior Wathelet said. His opinion, which judges must consider in their final ruling, was likely to be welcomed by Eurosceptic parties in the 28-nation EU which argue that governments must do more to stop "benefit tourism" by EU migrants. Wathelet's view reinforces the precedent set by a November ruling that said EU migrants can be denied benefits if they move to a country with no intention of finding a job. [ID:nL6N0T1262] "This confirms that the right to live and work elsewhere in the EU is not the same as the right to claim benefits," said Catherine Bearder, a British liberal in the European Parliament.

Immigration has become a divisive topic in Europe as it struggles to recover from years of economic crisis. British Prime Minister David Cameron repeated his call last week for a "wide-scale change to the rules on welfare and benefits", in a reference to popular suspicion that EU immigrants come to Britain to scrounge off the state.
Cameron has promised that, if he wins a May election, he will renegotiate Britain's relationship with Europe on issues such as immigration and then hold a referendum on its membership of the bloc by 2017. In his opinion, the European Court of Justice's Wathelet said however that those who had worked in their host country should not be penalised. Germany was therefore wrong to stop benefits to a Swedish mother who became unemployed, Wathelet said.

Swedish mother-of-three Nazifa Alimanovic stopped receiving social benefits in Germany in 2012 after becoming unemployed. Alimanovic had worked in Germany between June 2010 and May 2011. Germany's Federal Social Court brought the case to the EU court. "Exclusion from social assistance benefits, provided for by the German legislation, is not applicable to the situation of Ms Alimanovic," Wathelet said. Alimanovic's three children had been born in Germany and attended school there.
© Reuters

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Macedonia must stop playing with Roma passports

26/3/2015- The ERRC has written today to the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Macedonia to demand that they investigate allegations that politicians are coercing Roma to vote for their party by seizing their passports. The letter comes in response to leaked phone conversations purportedly between high-placed government officials. During the phone conversations the officials appear to explain how they withhold the passports of “Gypsies” in order to get their support, apparently in elections. It is widely reported that one of those speaking is the Interior Minister.

The allegations form a part of a larger patter of manipulation of the passports of Romani Macedonian citizens. As the ERRC has been reporting for over a year, Roma have regularly had their passports seized based on a regulation that the Constitutional Court has since ruled unlawful. Other Roma continue to be stopped from leaving the country at the border by Macedonian border guards based, the ERRC increasingly believes, on their race. Those guards place a special stamp with two lines through it in the person’s passport. A situation testing exercise the ERRC conducted has produced evidence that Roma are being singled out for this treatment.

“Passports are the most visible evidence of a person’s citizenship”, said András Ujlaky, the ERRC’s Executive Director. “The ongoing manipulation of the passports of Macedonia’s Roma citizens brands them as second-class citizens”. The ERRC’s advocacy officer and legal director are in Skopje today to talk to the media and international delegations about these problems, including the ERRC’s work to expose institu-tional racism against Roma at the border. They will be talking about the situation testing the ERRC has organised. They will also be talking about the ERRC’s campaign to encourage Roma to file legal complaints if they have had their passports seized or they have been refused the right to leave the country. By tomorrow, the ERRC expects over fifty complaints to have been filed.

© European Roma Rights Center

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Czech Rep: Court sentences student to 17.5 years for attempted murders

24/3/2015- A Czech court sentenced Tuesday university student Jan Mokry to 17.5 years in prison for two attempts to kill homeless men, after he expressed admiration for Adolf Hitler, confessed to the crime and said he regrets the victims' survival. Experts said Mokry, a student of the Faculty of Mathematics and Physics, does not suffer from any mental disorder and is fully responsible for his acts. They said the possibility of his re-integration in society is close to nil. Court panel chairwoman Katerina Radkovska said Mokry's guilt has been clearly proved.

The evidence included video recordings from camera systems, expert reports, testimonies of both victims, and the student's confession. Mokry attacked both victims in Prague last April and June, respectively. In both cases he chose a sleeping homeless man. "I stand by my deeds and views. I'm aware of being bad. It is people's nature to die. They die every day. I will continue, you cannot forbid it to me," Mokry told the court. Mokry said he would be killing homeless people again after he was released from prison.

He was also banned from Prague for ten years in order to further prevent him from killing homeless people. But Radkovska said an exceptional sentence would not be imposed on him. The prison stay seems enough for Mokry to give him a chance to change his views, she added. Mokry read from his notes about what further people he planned to kill. His targets were to be "homeless people, Gypsies, Jews and informers," he said. He mentioned some female fellow students, who, he said, were "valueless pieces of meat" whom he wanted to cut into pieces and throw into the Vltava River. Mokry also confessed to other crimes, including an attack on a third homeless man, but the police did not accuse him of anything else. Radkovska said Mokry probably only read about these crimes in media.
© The Prague Daily Monitor

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Slovakia: Number of extremist crimes drops

The number of crimes connected with extremism and racial motivation has fallen in Slovakia in recent years. The Slovak Interior Ministry announced these findings on 20 March.

25/3/2015- Last year Slovak Police discovered 66 such crimes, most frequently involving the banned promotion of various extremist and radical opinions. A total of 40 persons faced investigation and prosecution on these grounds, with police managing to solve half of the cases. In 2011, detectives in Slovakia investigated 243 cases of extremist and racist crime. Police also reported that extremist crime is now being committed more online. "The development of these crimes indicates the trend of manifestations of racial discrimina-tion and other forms of intolerance gradually moving recently from the 'streets' to 'virtual space'. In many cases this criminal activity is perpetrated through social networking sites," the Slovak Interior Ministry warned.

These crimes involve various incidents of defamation of a nation or a population group or incitement to ethnic, national and racial hatred. Social networking sites reportedly also serve for trafficking in extremist paraphernalia. The authorities believe that the influence of perpetrators' entourages, their family environments, and the Internet all contribute to these extremist displays, as does the allegedly inappropriate influence of the media. The ministry noted that right-wing radicals have changed their procedures now. "These activities are beginning to be more sophisticated and are marked by long-term planning with the aim of raising the money that is unavoidably necessary if their aims are to be achieved, which recently have mainly been politically motivated," the ministry said. Authorities also mentioned contacts between these groups and organizations abroad, such as the Workers' Social Justice Party (DSSS) in the Czech Republic.

The report on the development of extremism in Slovakia also included the People's Party "Our Slovakia" (LSNS), which is not seated in Parliament, among those entities holding extremist opinions; Marian Kotleba, who was elected the Governor of the Banská Bystrica Region in 2013, works in that party. Both Kotleba and the party are infamous for their anti-Romani propaganda.
© Romea.

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Slovenian journalists being locked in a senseless battle with Kafkaesque laws (comment)

'When a journalist is being prosecuted for doing their job the entire profession is on trial'
By Anne Mortensen


25/3/2015- At least half a dozen journalists have been charged or threatened with criminal indictments in the last 12 months under the Criminal Code of the Republic of Slovenia. One such investigative journalist is Anuška Delić, of the Ljubljana-based daily national newspaper Delo, who has been battling what has amounted to a Kafka-esque process. Delić published an article in Delo ahead of the December 2011 Slovenian elections that allegedly a linked between neo-Nazi group Blood and Honour Slovenia with and members of the Slovenian Democrat Party and military. She “sensed that something was cooking” when Blood and Honour published a counter-article on their website in the summer of 2012 that claimed her sources came from the Intelligence and Security Agency (SOVA). Unbeknownst to Delić, charges were filed against her shortly thereafter.

She became aware of possible charges in March 2013 when authorities brought her in for questioning, but she only learned what they charges were more than a year later when authorities revealed them in an official indictment in September 2014. Though her hearing officially began on 15 October 2014, Delić first saw a courtroom on 5 January 2015. She is currently under trial for publishing alleged classified information under Article 260 of the Criminal Code. If convicted, she faces up to three years in prison. “I have my good days and my bad days,” said Delić. “I would be lying if I said it has been easy. I have been fortunate to receive immense support from my colleagues at home as well as abroad. The other side of the coin is anger with the State for allowing these bogus criminal charges to be brought in the first place.”

Other journalists also being prosecuted under the Criminal Code include Primož Cirman and Tomaž Modić, of the daily newspaper Dnevnik also based in Ljubljana. Both were brought before an investigating judge over an alleged insult against the Competition Protection Agency (AVK) and some of its staff. If convicted, the journalists face up to six months in prison. Other criminal complaints have been raised against Dnevnik journalists Peter Lovšin and Meta Roglič. I asked Delić if she could offer words of advice to her fellow journalists to which she replied, “Fight for freedom of speech and media while you fight for justice and a fair trial. When a journalist is being prosecuted for doing their job the entire profession is on trial. Anyone can be next in line and we need to be vigilant of the developing situation.”

“Criminal prosecution of journalists for what they say or write is unacceptable,” said Organisation for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) Representative on Freedom of the Media Dunja Mijatović. “In cases like these, national security concerns must be properly weighed against public interest. But journalists must be able to report on issues of public interest free from fear of prosecution and potential imprisonment.” According to a statement issued by Slovenian government representa-tives, the Prime Minister, Miro Cerar, is aware of Anuška Delić's case, and has expressed his view that “journalists should be protected from criminal liability when publishing information in the public interest.”

The statement also confirmed that the Ministry of Justice has been drawing up amendments to the Penal Code, which, according to the Minister of Justice, Goran Klemenčič, should ensure that publishing classified information in the public interest will no longer be a criminal offence and the amendments to the Code are currently the final stages. “The Government of the Republic of Slovenia is aware of the significance of media freedom and is determined to respect the standards of media freedom, at home or abroad, in accordance with international norms and standards,” said Slovenian government representatives. Despite amendments to the Criminal Code in 2008, Article 158 of the Code continues to criminalise “insults”, punishable by a fine or imprisonment of up to three months.
Slovenia ranks 35 in the Reporters Without Border's World Press Freedom Index 2015.
© The Independent

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Anti-Roma words and actions should not go unpunished

MEPs speak out against anti-Roma discrimination and persecution.

26/3/2015- Ahead of International Roma Day on 8th April, GUE/NGL MEPs have spoken out against the continuing discrimination and suffering endured by the 12 million Roma and Sinti people living in the EU. Despite the fact that the number of Roma and Sinti people in the EU is far greater than both the Belgian and Portuguese popula-tions, they remain discriminated against and are not recognised as a minority in many EU countries. Italian MEP Curzio Maltese said: "The Roma and Sinti people are a genuine European people who have been living all over Europe for many centuries and have a historical right to consider Europe their home." Maltese continued: "It is absurd that 70 years since the genocide of the Roma and Sintis took place we still need to discuss whether to establish a memorial day for the victims of this crime. Roma still live in intolerable conditions in Europe; they have a life expectancy of just over 60, high child mortality rates and unemployment in some regions of over 90%. In addition, they are the object of increasing numbers of attacks that often go unpunished."

For Irish MEP Martina Anderson, International Roma Day is an important opportunity to recognise the historic and persistent discrimination of Roma in Europe. She said: "Roma suffered hugely during the Second World War when they were systematically persecuted, deported and killed. It is vital we recognise the suffering they endured and distance ourselves from the sickening comments we heard here this evening, nothing short of hate speech. Today Roma continue to suffer discrimination, including in education, healthcare, housing and due to ignorance. All citizens should have access to all provisions, which are after all a human right."

Spanish MEP Marina Albiol said: "This day of commemoration of the Roma during the Second World War is important, but we really haven't learned from the horrors of the past." "Persecution of Roma continues within EU borders," she said and cited cases where high-ranking officials made discriminatory remarks or took discriminatory actions such as then-Commission Vice-President Franco Frattini in 2007 and current French Prime Minister Manuel Vals who, when interior minister, tried to expel and 15-year-old school child while she was on a school trip.

Italian MEP Barbara Spinelli said: "The extermination of Roma and Sinti deserves to be officially recognised and remembered at European level as part of the genocides committed by the Nazi-fascist regime. This, so that anti-Gypsyism - like anti-Semitism - shall be considered as a form of racism against a specific European ethnic community. The fact that in Europe governments as well as politicians - also from the left wing - do not hesitate to use anti-Roma rhetoric and discriminate against the Roma and Sinti community is deeply worrying." The remarks were made in a European Parliament debate on 25 March.
© Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left

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Ultra-nationalist Ukrainian battalion gears up for more fighting

25/3/2015- The far-right Azov battalion, whose symbol resembles a black swastika on a yellow background, is preparing to defend the port city of Mariupol in south-eastern Ukraine against a widely expected attack by pro-Russian separatists. The 1,000 strong ultra-nationalist militia has a reputation as a fierce pro-government fighting force in the almost year-old conflict with the Russia-backed rebels in east Ukraine, and is disdainful of peace efforts. But the radical views of the commanders of a group affiliated to Ukraine's national guard which works alongside the army, and the use of symbols echoing Nazi emblems have caused alarm in the West and Russia, and could return to haunt Kiev's pro-Western leadership when fighting eventually ends.

"We don't like the ceasefire at all. As with the previous ones, it'll only lead to another offensive by the enemy," Azov commander Andriy Biletsky told Reuters while watching artillery drills at Urzuf, on the shores of the Sea of Azov, about 40 km south-west of Mariupol. "Appeasing the aggressor will only lead to more aggression. This war will inevitably continue - either until our complete defeat or until our full victory and return to our land in all east Ukraine and Crimea. We believe in the second scenario," said the 35-year-old from the city of Kharkiv. As the drills continued, other members of the battalion were in combat with the separatists at the village of Shirokino, some 60 km (38 miles) to the northeast.

Shirokino, where Ukrainian and rebel positions are separated by only a few kilometers of village dwellings, is one of several places along the line of contact where fighting has continued despite a February ceasefire. Mariupol, which Azov helped recapture from the rebels last year, is a big prize. Its capture would offer the separatists the chance to open a road further south a year after Russia annexed the Black Sea peninsula of Crimea from Ukraine. [ID:nL5N0W30SQ] Kiev and the West say Russia drives the rebellion in east Ukraine and has sent in troops as well as weapons to help the separatists. Moscow has sided with the rebels but denies direct military involvement.

"Patriot of Ukraine"
The Azov battalion originated from Biletsky's paramilitary national socialist group called "Patriot of Ukraine", which propagated slogans of white supremacy, racial purity, the need for authoritarian power and a centralized national economy. "Patriot of Ukraine" opposed giving up Ukraine's sovereignty by joining international blocs, called for rolling back of liberal economy and political democracy, including free media. In 2008, Biletsky urged "thousands of young fanatic apostles" to advance its ideas. Local media have reported on several violent incidents in which the group was involved. Since Azov was officially created last May, it has been involved in fighting on the outskirts of the rebel stronghold of Donetsk, a battle for the town of Illovaysk which Ukrainian forces lost last summer and across the coast of the Sea of Azov.

But, since Azov was enrolled as a regiment of Ukraine's National Guard in September and started receiving increased supplies of heavy arms, Biletsky has toned down his rhetoric. Most of "Patriot of Ukraine" websites are now down or under restricted access. He denied Azov's symbol was a reference to Nazism, saying it was rather a Ukrainian nationalist symbol. Biletsky said he now has infantry and artillery units and was building a proper tank force. His troops training on the cannons in Urzuf were heavily armed with quality uniforms. Biletsky said his troops, all volunteers, were "officially" making 6,000 hryvnia ($316) a month but in fact around 10,000 hryvnia. Apart from getting funds from the interior ministry, Azov is believed to be getting support from among Ukrainian super-rich oligarchs.

Biletsky did not say whether and how his views have changed since he wrote the "Patriot of Ukraine" program but said his priority now was extinguishing the pro-Russian rebellion. "We have only one goal right now - fighting for the homeland until all of it is freed. And then we will try to build a new Ukraine that we could all be proud of. We are patriots. We believe in our nation, nationalism is our ideology," he said. Biletsky, a historian by education who is married with a son, was detained in 2011 on charges of assaulting a man. He was released after an amnesty in February 2014 and his aides dismiss the case as an example of political persecution of Ukrainian nationalists under Ukraine's ousted president and Moscow ally Viktor Yanukovich. He has since been elected to the Ukrainian parliament, riding a wave of an increased nationalist sentiment in Ukraine triggered by the war.

Pressure on Kiev
Some Ukrainian politicians have defended Biletsky and his troops as patriots. There is lingering doubt, however, over what role Azov might play when the military conflict ends and whether its members could challenge President Petro Poroshenko and his government or threaten the wider public security. Biletsky has criticized Poroshenko for losing out on in an information war against Russia and the rebels, and is dismissive of the chances for a negotiated solution to the conflict. "How can we settle it peacefully if part of our territory is occupied? Will they give us Crimea back? How can there be a peaceful way to stop an aggression?," he said. In a sign of persistent tensions between the pro-Ukrainian volunteer battalions and Ukraine's regular army, Biletsky blamed Ukraine's top military commanders for battlefield defeats.

He said he has lost about 60 men in the conflict and wants a revamp of Ukraine's armed forces to promote a new generation of field commanders who have fought on the ground in a conflict that has killed more than 6,000 people. "We have loads of generals brought up in the Soviet Union who have no idea of combat, who rose as state officials in uniforms rather than commanding officers in the field. These people don't want to and don't know how to fight."
© Reuters

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Bulgarian Parliament Votes on Anti-Discrimination Law Amendments

24/3/2015- Sex change will now be protected from discrimination after a law amendment passed in Bulgarian Parliament on Wednesday. Debates regarding the amend-ments of the Discrimination Protection Law had been suspended and MPs could not vote on the change. Deputy PM and Social Minister Ivaylo Kalfin convinced his collea-gues in Parliament to vote in favor. He explained that since the year 2012 correspondence with the European Commission has been emphasizing the need for anti-discrimination laws. ''The Commission has posed the question once more on August 22, and then in February 2015 announced that it is finally expecting for us to amend the law until the end of March,'' stated Kalfin in Parliament. ''Otherwise, there will be a EU procedure launched for unwillingness on our part to comply with the EU legisla-tion.'' He noted that the amendment will merely attempt to clarify the procedure already passed, and not for implementation of any new legislation.
© Novinite

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Bulgaria Registers 55% Increase in Number of Asylum Applicants in 2014

The number of asylum applicants in Bulgaria increased by 55% on an annual basis in 2014, according to Eurostat data.

24/3/2014- The number of applicants in Bulgaria increased from 7 145 in 2013 to 11 080 in 2014, according to the statistical office of the European Union. Bulgaria’s share of asylum seekers amounted to less than 2% of the EU total. In 2014, the highest number of applicants was registered by far in Germany (202 700 applicants, or 32% of total applicants), followed by Sweden (81 200, or 13%), Italy (64 600, or 10%), France (62 800, or 10%) and Hungary (42 800, or 7%). The number of asylum applicants registered in the European Union (EU) increased by 191 000 (+44%) on an annual basis to reach a peak of 626 000 in 2014. In particular, the number of Syrians rose by 72 000, from 50 000 in 2013 to almost 123 000 in 2014. The number of asylum applicants in 2014 more than doubled compared with 2013 in Italy (+143%) and Hungary (+126%) and increased significantly in Germany (+60%) and Sweden (+50%), while it decreased by 5% in France.

Compared with the population of each Member State, the highest rates of registered applicants were recorded in Sweden (8.4 applicants per thousand inhabitants), well ahead of Hungary (4.3), Austria (3.3), Malta (3.2), Denmark (2.6) and Germany (2.5). In contrast, the lowest rates were observed in Portugal, Slovakia and Romania. In 2014, there were 1.2 asylum applicants per thousand inhabitants in the EU. Syria (122 800 asylum applicants, or 20% of the total number of applicants) continued to be the main country of citizenship of asylum applicants. Of the 122 800 Syrians who applied for asylum in the EU in 2014, around 60% were registered in two Member States: Germany (41 100) and Sweden (30 800). Syrians represented also the main citizenship of asylum seekers in Belgium, Bulgaria, Denmark, Spain, Cyprus, the Netherlands, Austria, Romania and Slovenia. Afghanistan (41 300 asylum applicants, or 7% of the total number of applicants) became the second country of citizenship of asylum seekers in the EU in 2014. Of the 41 300 Afghans seeking asylum protection in the EU in 2014, 9 700 were registered in Germany and 8 800 in Hungary.

With 37 900 applicants (or 6% of the EU total) in 2014, Kosovo completed the top 3 citizenships of asylum seekers in the EU, with more than half of them applying for asylum in Hungary (21 500). In some Member States, at least half of the applicants came from a single country. This was the case in 2014 in Cyprus (57% of the applicants came from Syria), Bulgaria (56% from Syria), Hungary (50% from Kosovo4) and Poland (50% from Russia). In 2014 in the EU, 45% of first instance decisions made on asylum applications were positive (360 000 first instance decisions were taken in the 27 EU Member States for which data are available, of which 163 000 granted refugee status, subsidiary protection or authoriza-tion to stay for humanitarian reasons). With 66 300 first instance decisions granting asylum protection status (or 41% of all first instance positive decisions), Syrians were the main recipients in the EU in 2014.
© Novinite

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