Monday, 8 March 2021 | News today: 0

France approves only 15 asylum claims from Macedonian citizens in 2014

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During 2014, a total of 161 Macedonian citizens applied for asylum in France, with only 15 applications being accepted. Macedonia is seen as a ‘safe country’ by the French authorities, and applications are rarely approved.

MIA correspondent in Paris informs that the French bureau for refugee protection Ofpra ranked Macedonia relatively high, 43rd, by the number of asylum applications. The number of applications has reduced by 20 percent compared to 2013. Poor Macedonian citizens sometimes use the visa free travel regime, introduced in 2009, to apply for asylum in France, Germany and several other European countries which are known to offer accommodation and even a small benefit payment to applicants during the several months that are often necessary to process an application. With applications from previous years, Ofpra processed a total of 238 claims from Macedonia.

Other countries in the Balkans lead Macedonia by the number of asylum applications, particularly Albania and Kosovo, who had 2.996 and 2.775 of their citizens apply for asylum in France. The approval rates are much higher for these countries as well, with a little over 600 applications approved in each case. A total of 606 Serbians applied for asylum, with 101 of them approved, while only 9 Montenegrins of the 260 who applied were granted asylum. Ethnically, most of the applicants were Roma.

Ofpra informs that Congo, China and Bangladesh lead the overall list of countries of origin of its asylum claimants. A total of 64.811 people applied for asylum in 2014, with an approval rate of 17 percent. France is ranked fourth in the European Union by the number of asylum applications, behind Germany, Sweden and Italy.