The Corona crisis has dramatically reduced the number of asylum seekers – despite this, Germany remains the most important country of destination. In the meantime, the European Commission is proposing a new system. More details will be announced.

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According to a newspaper report, the number of asylum seekers in the European Union has fallen sharply in the first half of 2020. 196,620 people first applied for asylum in one of the 27 EU countries during this period, which corresponds to a 34 percent decrease from the same period last year, the Funke media group newspapers report in their Wednesday editions, citing according to figures from the EU statistical office Eurostat.

The reason for the sharp decline is of course the corona crisis. According to the report, the numbers only fell sharply with the first major corona measures in March. In Germany, 46,655 people first applied for asylum between January and June – a 36 percent decrease from the same period last year.

According to the Funke newspapers, the figures also show that Germany remains the main destination for asylum seekers in the EU, followed by Spain and France. However, the German share of all initial applications in the EU, at 23.7 percent, is significantly lower than during the refugee crisis in 2015/2016, when the share was over 30 percent.

This is stated in the compromise on the reform of the EU asylum policy

The European Commission wants to present its new proposals for the controversial asylum reform on Wednesday afternoon. They should clearly look like this:

  • Brussels is aiming for a new “migration management system” which, according to Home Affairs Commissioner Ylva Johansson, will lead to more deportations and a “mandatory solidarity mechanism” to relieve the main countries of arrival.
  • According to a report by “Welt”, the European Commission will in future hold all EU states liable in exceptional situations. Then they should take in vulnerable people or offer other helpfor example, on the deportation of rejected asylum seekers, the newspaper reported, citing senior EU diplomats. EU circles confirmed this.
  • The EU commission describes three scenarios: in normal development, EU states can help each other voluntarily. In the first instance, this also applies to the second scenario, when the asylum system comes under pressure – but only if there are actually sufficient contributions. In a crisis like 2015, help must be mandatory.
  • The Help with repatriations – so-called sponsorship of deportation – would be a concession to countries like Hungary and Poland, which refuse to accept migrants.
  • The European Commission has repeatedly stressed the need to speed up the return of rejected asylum seekers. The “Deportation sponsorship” contribute. In addition, according to the “World”, the EU Commission wants to appoint an “EU Return Coordinator” to lead a working group with representatives of the EU Member States. So far, the deportation of rejected asylum seekers has been extremely difficult – including in Germany.

Efforts to reform the European asylum system have failed repeatedly since the height of the refugee crisis in 2015. The bottleneck has always been the distribution of refugees among the other EU countries to ease the burden of countries of arrival such as Italy or Greece at the external borders. Eastern European countries such as Hungary and Poland categorically refused to accept migrants.

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