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Number of asylum applications increased significantly in 2023

According to the EU Asylum Agency, the number of asylum seekers in Germany and Europe has increased sharply this year. In total, over a million applications are expected for 2023. The numbers are expected to continue to rise in the coming year.

More and more people are applying for asylum in Germany and other European countries. According to the European Union Asylum Agency (EUAA), the number of asylum seekers in 2023 increased significantly compared to the same period last year.

In October alone, the authority registered around 123,000 applications, the highest monthly value in seven years, EUAA director Nina Gregori told the newspapers of the Funke media group. According to their estimate, the total number of asylum applications in the EU will be “well over one million” by 2023.

Gregori does not expect a decrease in applications. On the contrary, the EUAA director predicts that the numbers will continue to increase: “The world around us is becoming more and more unstable. The refugees’ need for protection will therefore not decrease in 2024 and beyond, but will in some cases even increase.” 2024 will be a challenging year.

Germany remains the main destination for refugees in the EU

According to the report, a total of around 937,000 applications were registered in the EU by the end of October – an increase of 22 percent compared to the same period last year. In Germany alone, according to the Funke newspapers, the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) counted 325,801 asylum applications by the end of November – which corresponds to an increase of 52 percent compared to the first eleven months of the previous year.

As a country, Germany remains the main destination for asylum seekers in the EU, explained the EU Asylum Agency. In October, Germany accounted for 27 percent of all asylum applications. This is more than France and Italy combined, which are second and third on the list of countries with the most applications.

The number of refugees from Ukraine has also continued to rise. At the end of October, 4.16 million people were registered in the EU seeking refuge from the Russian war of aggression in their homeland. This is around 320,000 more than in January, said Gregori. At the end of October, Germany was the most important receiving country in the EU with around 1.17 million Ukrainian refugees, while Poland was the second most important with 957,000 Ukrainians.

New EU asylum law “not a panacea”

Gregori welcomed the recent agreement to reform the Common European Asylum System. At the same time, she dampened hopes for rapid relief: “The new pact is not a panacea. Nobody should expect an immediate change, not even in the numerical development of asylum applications.”

But the agreed asylum and migration pact “sends a very clear message that the EU will take tough action against those who want to abuse refugee protection, including against smugglers.” At the same time, the EU is committed to creating a sustainable and hopefully future-proof world-class protection system for those who really need it.

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