More than 1,400 Albanians applied for asylum in EU member states in August 2021, a 46% increase from July and more than double that in June, according to EU data.
The numbers were higher than in the months leading up to the pandemic, including December 2019 and January and February 2020.
Of the August applications, 1,200 were first applications and some 230 were new applications. Albania has the most applications in the region, four times higher than second place.
Almost a quarter of a million Albanians applied for asylum in an EU member state between 2008 and 2021, not counting the UK.
The numbers declined slightly in 2020, due to the pandemic, but as travel measures declined somewhat, the numbers rose again.
While Albania is considered a “safe place”, up to 10% of claims are accepted as founded. In addition, between 2008 and 2020, more than 700,000 Albanians received a residence permit in the EU.
The reduction of asylum requests is a condition for the opening of the first intergovernmental conference which marks the official start of negotiations for accession to the EU. A decision is expected in December following a series of rejections, although the EC has said all conditions have been met.
You can read a detailed report on Albanian asylum here.
Analysis: The Albanian asylum problem