Authorities in Germany collect biometric data from migrants and refugees in order to identify them better in future | Photo: Getty Images/S. Gallup
Authorities in Germany collect biometric data from migrants and refugees in order to identify them better in future | Photo: Getty Images/S. Gallup

Despite the falling numbers, the country still logs the largest share of all EU asylum claims. Around a quarter of asylum requests in the bloc this year were filed in Germany.

Between January and November 2019 133,270 people filed asylum claims with German authorities. The figure represents a 13% decrease compared with the same time period in 2018, the Funke media group and Reuters news agency reported on Thursday, citing figures made available from Eurostat, the EU's statistics office.

Germany still remains the top European destination for asylum seekers, despite the fall in numbers. From the start of the year until September there were 111,015 asylum claims made in Germany — these accounted for 23% of all claims made in the EU, another drop in numbers, with Germany logging 28% of all EU asylum claims in 2018, and 31% of all claims made in 2017.

Prediction proved right

The statistics obtained by Funke confirmed predictions by Hans-Eckard Sommer, the head of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) earlier in November. Sommer at the time told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper "I expect that by the end of the year we'll end up with 140,000 to 145,000 — so even a little less than in 2018."

Thursday's figures come just a day after the country's top police chief criticized Germany's deportation system, saying the country needed more processing centers.

kmm/kl (Funke, Reuters)

First published: December 26, 2019

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