2020 has seen the number of asylum applications in Estonia fall to the lowest level in several years, largely the result of the coronavirus pandemic, but also part of a trend for a decline since the peak year of 2015.
Kristiina Raidla-Puhm, Head of the Police and Border Guard Board’s (PPA) citizenship and international protection service, told ERR that 59 asylum applications had been received in 2020, a little over half the figure for recent years and placing Estonia as one of the lowest recipients of applications in the EU.
Raidla-Puhm said: “This extraordinary year certainly has a strong influence on applicants for international protection.”
“We can also see that, certainly when talking to applicants, it emerges that Estonia as a country of destination is not seen as being very appealing, especially for people who have come from Africa or the Middle East,” she went on.
“[Estonia] is an unknown quantity, and they still aim at a so-called transit country through which to move to countries with a larger communities [of the same nationality or ethnic group] awaiting them, such as in Finland or Sweden,” Raidla-Puhm added.
Read more: ERR.EE