Germany has seen a dramatic fall in the number of asylum seekers. In 2015 Germany saw 890,000 people apply for asylum, last year it saw 280,000 people apply for asylum.
The dramatic fall is down to the closure of the Balkan route and the migrant deal between the EU and Turkey, according to German Interior Minister, Thomas de Maiziere.
In 2015 German Chancellor Angela Merkel ordered a temporary open door asylum policy. The idea was to help the large number of Syrian people fleeing the conflict but other nationalities came too.
Migration has become a big issue in Germany, and voters punished her CDU party in regional polls last year. Mrs Merkel has acknowledged that the issue of migration could have been handled better.
Maiziere said, “This shows that the measures that the federal government and the EU have taken are taking hold. We’ve been successful in managing and controlling the process of migration.”
The flow of migrants has been greatly reduced due to the EU making a deal with Turkey to stop the influx of migrants and refugees heading towards troubled Greece. Balkan states have also reduced numbers heading towards Western Europe.
Although Germany has greatly reduced the number of asylum seekers last year, there are still hundreds and thousands of unprocessed claims. Angela Merkel’s government has to try and convince the German people that the country can integrate asylum seekers into the population successfully.
A lot depends on the migrant deal with Turkey, should that fall-through, migrant numbers will rise.
Currently, Germany has rejected asylum requests from Albanians stating the country is safe. Afghan arrivals have been deported.
Of the record 695,733 asylum decisions made last year, 256,136 were given refugee status under Geneva Conventions and a further 153,700 given temporary entitlement to remain.
Germany has said that many Afghan and Iraq asylum seekers have been deported.