The number of first-time asylum applications in the EU decreased by half year-on-year to 649,855 in 2017, reported the Funke Mediengruppe, citing figures from the EU’s statistics office Eurostat.
In Germany, too, this figure decreased – but the country still registered the highest amount of first-time applications (198,255) in 2017 compared to its European neighbours.
Last year, Italy ranked second with 126,550 applications, followed by France (91,070) and Greece (57,020). Austria ranked in eighth place with 22,160 applications.
1.55 million first-time applications were made in Germany between 2011 and 2016, with over half of those applications coming in 2015 and 2016.
The share of first-time applications from asylum seekers in Germany has also declined. While in 2016, Germany received 60 percent of applications across the EU, last year this had gone down to around 30 percent.
If secondary and follow-up applications were taken into account, according to the report, the total for 2017 would be 704,625 applications across the EU, including 222,560 in Germany.
This declining trend in figures has continued in Deutschland in 2018. 11,000 people in the country were registered as asylum seekers for the first time in February, according to the Federal Interior Ministry. This was about 3,300 fewer than in February 2017, with most of the applicants from Syria, Iraq and Nigeria.
The number of first-time, secondary and follow-up asylum applications submitted to the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) last month was 12,490.