TALLINN - A fresh migration monitoring study compiled by the Estonian Academy of Security Sciences Migration Studies Center shows that, although no major increase of asylum applications in any one year has taken place in Estonia, the number of asylum seekers is characterized by a gradually growing trend, reports Public Broadcasting.
In the European Union, refugee migration has constantly increased over the past five years. Estonia differs from the other Baltic and Nordic states in that no remarkable increase of asylum applications in any single year has taken place yet.
Migration Studies Center head Kert Valdaru said that Estonia has been left aside from the major surge in the number of asylum seekers, but the state should be ready for a major increase of asylum applications, based on the experiences of Europe and neighboring states.
“When the growth comes, it will be a big challenge for the whole society. We have to be able to process the asylum applications in a reasonable period of time, and at the same time guarantee a humane living environment to the applicants and recipients of international protection,” said Valdaru.
The biggest increase was in Estonia and Latvia in 2011 when 36 applicants more than in 2010 applied for asylum in Estonia, and 275 in Latvia. In Lithuania the biggest increase was in 2012 when the number of applicants grew by 120.
In Sweden for example, the biggest increase took place in 2012, when the number of applicants grew by 14,155.
In 2012, the largest number of asylum seekers in the Baltic States came from Georgia and Vietnam, while in the Nordic states there is a high number of asylum seekers from Somalia.
In Estonia, 66 percent of asylum applications were rejected, which was below the EU average of 73 percent. In Lithuania 86 percent were rejected, and in Latvia 83 percent.