Nearly 5,000 Macedonian citizens sought asylum in the European Union member states last year. This is a major increase compared to 2020, when only 1,230 were able to skip the Covid restrictions and do so.

Of the total 4,922 applicants, 2,822 were first-timers. They often claim poverty as grounds for asylum, although ethnic and religious discrimination is also used. Almost all of the requests – 4,500 – were made in Germany. Applicants also hope to use the often long procedures to stay in Germany and receive some benefits, even if the ultimate decision is negative.