The number of new asylum applications increased by 40 per cent in the first three months of this year compared with the last three months of last year.
There were 625 applications for asylum between January and March, compared to 455 in between October and December, the latest figures from Eurostat show.
Across the EU there were 184,815 first-time requests for asylum.
Though this is at about the same level as at the end of last year – there were 184,200 in the last quarter of 2014 – it represents an 86 per cent increase on the numbers in the first quarter of last year.
Tens of thousands of Kosovo Albanians, most of them Muslims, have reportedly been fleeing the impoverished country, travelling through Serbia across the Hungarian border.
The largest number, 73,100, applied for asylum in Germany, representing 40 per cent of the total first time applicants, followed by Hungary, which accepted 32,800 or 18 per cent of all applicants.
“They were followed at a distance by Italy (15,200, or 8 per cent), France (14,800, or 8 per cent), Sweden (11,400, or 6 per cent), Austria (9,700 or 5 per cent) and the United Kingdom (7,300 or 4 per cent),” says Eurostat.