Almost 800 people asked Romania for international protection in the first half of 2019 according to the country's General Immigration Inspectorate (IGI)."In the first half of 2019, 792 people applied for international protection from Romania, and in 240 cases the refugee status was acknowledged or subsidiary protection was awarded and more than 500 beneficiaries of a form of protection signed up for integration programmes," says IGI in a press statement released on Wednesday.
The Asylum and Integration Directorate is in charge with managing the co-ordination and monitoring of the asylum procedure, of integration, relocation and resettlement throughout Romania.
Receiving, registering and processing asylum applications, assisting asylum seekers during the procedure and assisting for integration are activities that take place at the level of the regional centres for procedures and accommodation of asylum seekers located in Bucharest, Giurgiu, Timisoara, Galati, Radauti and Maramures.
"In the first half of 2019, 792 asylum applications were filed, 11pct less than in the same period last year," says IGI.
Regarding the country of origin, most asylum seekers came from countries like Iraq, Syria and Bangladesh, and most of the applications were submitted to the centres in Timisoara and Bucharest.
At the same time, the IGI says that as far as access to a new asylum procedure was concerned, there were 94 applications, against 125 in the first half of 2018.
"Our analysis indicates that during this period, immigration officers solved 464 requests for international protection at the administrative stage, while in 240 cases some form of protection was granted, including awarding the refugee status in 91 cases and subsidiary protection in 149 cases. At the same time, 760 asylum seekers were accommodated in the six special centres, 947 were counseled and approximately 700 signed up for cultural orientation classes."
IGI adds that as far as the extra-EU relocation is concerned in accordance with the commitments undertaken for the years 2018-2019, Romanian immigration officers organised several co-ordination meetings with officials of the organisations involved in the relocation operation in order to establish all the details and aspects on the implementation of the relocation programme for the 109 refugees of Syrian origin temporarily halted in Turkey and Jordan.
In the same period, 523 people receiving international protection signed up for the integration programme- over 221 from Syria, 111 from Iraq, 33 from Iran and other countries.
IGI adds that 133 requests for the transfer of foreigners to other EU member states were submitted in respect of the procedure for determining the member state responsible for examining asylum applications lodged by applicants for international protection.
At the same time, the transfer to Romania was made for 78 persons in compliance with the Dublin Regulation.